One of the most dangerous and upcoming threats out there is cryptojacking. This process involves a malicious entity installing cryptomining malware on a user’s device without their knowledge or consent, allowing for a steady, reliable stream of income. What are the details behind cryptomining, and how can you keep your devices from becoming complicit in the schemes of hackers? Let’s find out.
Yes, Your Computer Can Make Money
If you haven’t heard of cryptocurrency, it is essentially a type of currency that can be “mined” on a computer. The most popular cryptocurrency is Bitcoin. New Bitcoin is generated by computers crunching through numbers. There are organizations who have warehouses full of expensive high-end servers constantly churning to generate Bitcoin. Your average computer won’t typically be able to produce any significant amount of return, but if a hacker can get a hold of thousands of computers and make them mine for Bitcoin, they could start to get something back.
Why is It Dangerous?
The number one reason why cryptomining is dangerous is due to the toll that it can take on your device if left unchecked. For one, barely any device that’s not designed for intensive purposes can handle such a threat without suffering considerable functionality issues in the long term. Your computer’s internal components could wear down faster, and you’ll notice things start getting slower.
Other ways it can impact your organizations stem from the immediate costs of it affecting your hardware. You might notice an exceedingly high electric bill from your computer/server being commandeered for cryptomining, or cloud-based services that are moving at an exceptionally slow rate, impacting either your employees or your customers, depending on what kind of organization you run.
How to Protect Your Business
The best way to detect cryptomining on your network is to look for suspicious network activity. Considering that the malware works by sending information over a connection, you can bet that any consistent influx of activity at odd points in time could be suspicious. Unfortunately, the data sent during this time can be small packets, making it tricky to detect for organizations that are large and have a lot of data flowing in and out of a network.
Many security professionals are turning to machine learning to detect and eliminate cryptomining issues on networks. Machine learning can be used to analyze a network’s traffic for the specific telltale signs of a cryptomining software. Another security strategy is to utilize a SIEM solution to help network administrators ascertain if there are consistent and repetitive issues from potential malware.
To prevent cryptomining it’s important to ensure you have protections from all common vectors of attack, including spam protection, antivirus, content filters, and firewalls. To learn more about how you can protect your business from threats, reach out to us at (415) 246-0101.