With every passing year, cryptocurrency becomes more and more popular. After the huge success of Bitcoin, other cryptocurrencies like Pi are popping up all over. Of course, any piece of tech is only as good as the user, and scammers have tried taking full advantage of this technology as well. Your computer devices are prone to all kinds of attacks, and cryptojacking is just one of them. This is why it is important to know what is cryptojacking.
Before we talk about what cryptojacking is, we need to talk about cryptocurrency. In essence, cryptocurrency or “crypto” is a currency you can exchange online for different goods and services. To get access to these currencies, you need to spend real money on them. Many people have compared crypto to arcade tokens.
You can mine for cryptocurrency with the help of powerful computers and dedicated hardware, and even though the return on cryptocurrency is three times lower than last year, scammers still make a decent sum out of cryptojacking.
In the following article, we’ll talk about how cryptojacking works, the signs, and how to protect yourself from cryptojacking.
So, What Is Cryptojacking?
Cryptojacking is when scammers install malicious software onto your computer devices and use it to mine for bitcoins without your knowledge or consent. Most times, you won’t even notice your computer has been taken over. One of the only signs is that it might be slower than usual. The simple code they need to turn your devices into their mines is easy to install, runs in the background, and leaves you with higher electricity bills, slower computers, overheating devices, and many more issues.
This isn’t even the worst part. Cryptojackers can use your computer’s power to steal crypto from other crypto wallets and harm other people as well. If you have any crypto of your own, you might as well say goodbye to it the moment that malicious software lands inside your computer.
How Does Cryptojacking Work?
There are three main ways for cryptojackers to get access to your computers.
- Through Email: One of the best ways for almost any scammer to attack your phone or computer is through suspicious links in an email sent to you. Always be careful about the links you click on and the emails you open! If a sender seems legit and you’re tempted to click on their links, try finding out as much as you can about them before doing it. Running their email through a Google search would be a great way to start, and if you want even better results, you can run the email through Social Catfish’s reverse search tool. It’s AI-driven and proven to give you the best possible results. If it doesn’t yield any results, chances are the email and everything it’s offering are fake.
- Through Websites: Sometimes the malicious cryptojacking code is embedded into a computer through a shady website that is accessed through the browser. They download files onto your computer without you even realizing it, and they keep running in the background. This can be done by embedding them into ads, or even out-of-date WordPress codes.
- Through the Cloud: Many cryptojackers and computer criminals can gain access to your cloud storage if they try hard enough. If someone gets access to your cloud, they have access to your whole computer. After that, they can do with it as they please, and even gain access to more computers that yours is in contact with.
Signs of Cryptojacking
Cryptojacking is hard to catch if you’re not on the lookout. This is why it’s important to always be on your toes when it comes to your internet usage and unwanted or unexpected emails. Some of the signs you might be cryptojacked include:
- Slower device speed.
- Your batteries overheat often.
- Reduction in device productivity.
- Shorter battery life.
- A sudden increase in electricity costs.
If any of these things happen, you need to take steps to cleanse your computer of any ghostly, background presences.
How To Stay Safe
As a general rule, avoid clicking on any unrecognizable links, and don’t open emails from sources you don’t recognize. If any website feels off, exit immediately. You can even install browser extensions that keep your computer from mining coins, keep all your device software updated, and use ad-blockers so they can filter out most ill-intentioned ads before they reach you.
Not much can be done about your stolen bitcoins or your computer’s resources, which is why it’s essential to focus on prevention. You can still report this crime to relevant authorities and it may help them make a case against your online attacker, but don’t hope for your bitcoins back if they were stolen.
Social Catfish is Here to Help You!
At Social Catfish, we want to help you verify the identities of those who might seem suspicious to you. If you have their name, email address, phone number, social media username, or image, you can reverse search and see who the suspected person was that you’ve been in contact with after reading about what is cryptojacking. If you were involved in a scam, make sure to report it to the FTC as well.