Cybercriminals can unknowingly use your computer to generate cryptocurrency
What is cryptojacking? How does it work?
Cryptojacking is a type of cybercrime where a criminal secretly uses a victim’s computing power to
This usually occurs when the victim unwittingly installs a programme with malicious scripts which
cybercriminal to access their computer or other Internet-connected device, for example by clicking
on an unknown link in
an e-mail or visiting an infected website. Programmes called ‘coin miners’ are then used by the
criminal to create, or
As they are digital currencies, only computer programmes and computing power are needed to create
type of cryptocurrency we see primarily mined on personal computers is called Monero.
Why is this a concern?
Cryptojacking might seem like a harmless crime, since the only thing ‘stolen’ is the power of the
victim’s computer. But
the use of computing power for this criminal purpose is done without the knowledge or consent of the
victim, for the
benefit of the criminal who is illicitly creating currency. As a large number of infected devices
generates a huge
amount of cryptocurrency, cybercriminal see this as a lucrative crime.
The primary impact of cryptojacking is performance-related, though it can also increase costs for
the individuals and
businesses affected because coin mining uses high levels of electricity and computing power.
Signs you could be a victim of cryptojacking
A noticeable slowdown in device performance
Overheating of batteries on devices
Devices shutting down due to lack of available processing power
Reduction in productivity of your device or router
Unexpected increases in electricity costs
Continuously monitor resources on your computer (processing speed, power usage)
Use browser extensions that are designed to block coin mining
Use more privacy-focused ad blockers
Install the latest software updates and patches for your operating system and all
concerning web browsers
Block pages that are known to deliver cryptojacking scripts