Coin minersSecurity tips

Is your computer mining cryptocurrency behind your back?

Do you know your computer could be mining Cryptocurrencies – Bitcoin/Ethereum/Litecoin/Dogecoin etc. to be precise without you knowing? This process makes use of your computer’s processing power to confirm transactions and generate fresh and potentially lucrative coins and you won’t even know about this at all not to talk of profiting from it. In recent news on Crypto, Incidents of malware containing crypto mining tools have surged over 600% last year (2017) this was better explained by IBM Managed Security Services. If you could do more research, you would find a lot of news and peoples complain as regards. If you are so much into Cryptos and you browse the internet often and download so much wallets and participate in ICO then your PC is either doing this already. Right now, you would be wandering and want to know how fast to detect this? Read on…

How to find out if your PC is being used unwillingly in mining Cryptos.

Check your CPU usage

Firstly, open a resource monitor on your computer to check if CPU usage is abnormally high. On a Mac that’s Activity Monitor, and on Windows it’s Task Manager, make sure to check thoroughly because these guys are smart, and you might not know what exactly is being used. If you see a unusual high spike in your CPU usage when visiting a particular website that shouldn’t really be that taxing on your processor; or if you have everything closed but CPU usage is still super high, then you may have a crypto mining malware problem. It’s hard to say what “normal” CPU usage looks like, since computer processing power and the applications people run vary so much, but a suddenly elevated level of CPU usage would indicate an abnormal increase in demand for processing power.

In Browser Crypto mining

When you noticed sudden/unusual high CPU usage, this could indicate malware is mining cryptocurrencies through your browser. So how do you plan to stop this?
Make use of Ad-blockers, it helps. You never know your computer can be hijacked for mining by visiting a website or having an infected advertisement displayed in it.

To confirm this, once you leave that website or close the tab, the mining stops. You can keep an eye on your Activity monitor or task manager to notice the spike on CPU usage. For more peace of mind, you can also block JavaScript from running on a site known to be infected by simply using the default privacy and content controls in your browser, this works quite better.

Ad-blocking software can also filter out known types of in-browser miners. One such mining script is called Coin Hive, which isn’t necessarily malware. It can be embedded in websites without the knowledge of a visitor, although its developers encourage website owners to disclose the script’s presence to users, so when you see some notifications on Crypto site, please make sure to read carefully. You need to have a very good Adblocking software, that will scan a site to see if Coin Hive is running on it and alert you to it. And also, a browser extension, that’s adding a filter to its built-in blocking options that targets Coin Hive.

Take note, there’s a time of Malware researchers at IBM have found more sophisticated class of surreptitious mining software that penetrates your system. These are delivered through infected image files or by clicking on links leading to a malicious site. Such attacks tend to target enterprise networks, IBM found, so get in touch with your IT person for help. You can try terminating the Malware yourself. If your system is infected, you should detect a degradation in performance, in this case switch up your Activity Monitor or Task Manager to check your CPU usage. You can then identify the process that’s eating up all those compute cycles and terminate it from your resource monitor.

Could these things be mining bitcoin?

If can’t say for sure because bitcoin requires far too much computational power to be mined profitably this way, even if millions of ordinary computers were hijacked. Bitcoin miners today operate vast data centers containing thousands of machines specifically built down to the chips for mining bitcoin.
Instead, these miners most commonly try to generate other Cryptos like Monero, Ripple, Dogecoin which are just picking up.

Polina Lisovskaya

Polina works as marketing manager for a year now and loves searching for interesting topics for you:)

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