Cryptocurrencies might be the the future. But, the same as any other thing, they should be a choice. By Cryptojacking, someone takes control of your hardware to mine minuscule amounts of crypto that will add up in the end.
Not only does that practice slow down your devices and burns out your gear faster, but it is also a serious cybersecurity risk. Cybercriminals, called cryptojackers in this case, will gladly use your private information to sell off to anyone interested.
Thankfully, preventing such an infection is not as difficult as the futuristically dystopian name suggests. With premium VPN providers like Le VPN, as well as a few tricks easily incorporated in your routine, you can easily prevent anyone from taking over your PC.
While using a VPN won’t save you if you are already infected, it will prevent anyone who is targeting your device or tampering with the malware code while you are clearing it.
What is Cryptojacking?
It is taking control over computers to force cryptocurrency mining for a malicious third party.
While the types of infections can range from viruses and Trojans to covert browser protocols, the result is always the same. Once the jacking software is installed, your GPU and CPU will be used to mine crypto for the person running the software.
In some cases, this type of installation might be voluntary. You might want to install a browser attachment that will use a fraction of your hardware for a greater cause.
But, a much more common scenario is when hackers insert cryptomining malware into something published as ‘free software.’ Uninformed users might install the app without thinking and willingly give their computers and other devices to unknown criminals.
It doesn’t even matter if Bitcoin is illegal in your country or not, as the hacker will be breaking the law regardless.
How do You Get Infected?
Same as with any other type of cyber-attack or malicious software, the most common way of getting infected is by not being careful what you click or download.
For most users, this will be via a browser add-on that is supposed to help play videos or communicate. Websites with Java are usually riddled with various malware. In these cases, the virus will show as if your browser is using your CPU and GPU, even when you don’t have any visual content in your tabs.
Additionally, the hackers might make a BAT file that will directly ask you to install malware. This will be masked as some additional content needed to play a special type of video or audio. These files are almost always a scam.
Finally, there is cryptojacking that works on the same principles as regular hacking. Someone will enter your device through your IP address and crack your security, letting them use your computer, smartphone, or tablet as they see fit.
Dangers of Cryptojacking
Needless to say that having some unknown and most probably malicious entity use your computer behind your back is a bad thing. Also, someone who has access to your processor or graphics unit will have no issues spreading their influence to the rest of your hardware, software, and data.
Your Device is Hacked!
There is no safe way to be cryptojacked. Even for those devices that have powerful hardware where the fall in performance won’t be as noticeable, the risks for yourself and others are too great to dismiss.
Not only will you be leaving your private data to the mercy of people who are already on the other side of the law, but you might also be forced to slip to that side yourself unwillingly.
By commanding your CPU, a cryptojacker can use your device for many more purposes besides cryptocurrency mining. By becoming a part of a botnet, your device can be used to force DDoS attacks or disseminate harmful material.
Once you are infected, making a backup of all of your sensitive data and rebooting your entire system with a clean install will probably be the only option.
Personal Data for the Taking
While your data can be hidden from snoopers piggybacking on your connection, cryptojacking has claws deep inside the firmware of your CPU and GPU protocols. There is no internal password that can hide from this type of attack.
Unless you keep your most sensitive information on a separate drive, which is disconnected from both the main system and the internet, you are at immediate risk.
When it comes to ‘surprise cryptocurrency mining,’ prevention is a much better option than clearing your system afterward. Not only is it cheaper and faster, but it also fits in nicely in what should be a good cybersecurity system.
Updating your operating system, installing a premium VPN, and having an anti-spyware software work in the back are the basics. Additionally, it might be good to learn what is TOR browser and familiarize yourself with it.
Companies like Le VPN will provide you with the ability to quickly and safely mask your IP address and prevent anyone from targeting your devices. Not only will a good VPN render most cryptojacking protocols inert, but it will also allow you for more time to clear the virus from your device.
Having your whole device usurped to mine crypto and probably break several other laws is not pleasant. But, with a few precautions, you can easily protect yourself from such attacks.
Premium VPN providers such as Le VPN don’t only offer VPN in Venezuela and other countries that wouldn’t have full internet access otherwise. Having one wherever you are will protect you from the darkest entities you might stumble upon online.
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