by Felix Kinaro About 2 min reading time
This is the illegal use of computer resources to mine cryptocurrencies. The mining is an intensive process which leads to high power usage.The affected devices may slow down to a crawl and heat up. This is because resources such as RAM and CPU time are gobbled up by a single application. Attackers abuse various methods to mine crypto on users devices.
- Web browser
- Tricking users to install the mining software
- Exploiting vulnerabilities in software
Earlier last week, BlackSquid made news by exploiting multiple vulnerablities in order to infect computer systems and mine cryptocurrencies. You can read more on Bleeping Computer
High RAM usage
Most mining software use up a large amount of RAM. You may find an application taking up a large portion of memory than usual.
High CPU usage
If you notice that the CPU is always at 100%, there might be a mining app running in the background. You can use
Task Manager in windows to view running applications and processes. Use it to kill offending processes and apps. However, note that terminating applications from the task manager will usually lead to loss of data.
- Avoid insecure sites
An attacker on the same LAN as you are can perform a Man-in-the-Middle attack and inject malicious code in the insecure websites you visit
- Sift through the software installation terms and offers
Most freeware try to sneak in more than you bargained for during the installation phase. For example CCleaner tries to install Google Chrome or Avast! antivirus during installation.
- Patch your systems
Bugs in software are encounterd all the time, thats why it is essential to install the latest security updates. Operating systems provide the means to schedule these updates or install them automatically.