• Demystify Cyber

Fact Sheet - cryptojacking

Updated: Mar 23

Have you heard of the digital currency called cryptocurrency? It started with Bitcoin in 2009, and in 2021 according to Investopedia * there are more than 4000 different cryptocurrencies in the world. Below is a list of five that are more publically known.

  • Bitcoin (launched 2009)

  • Litecoin ( launched 2011)

  • Dogecoin (launched 2013)

  • Monero (2014)

  • Ethereum (launched 2015)

Cryptocurrency transactions and verification involve complex calculations using a lot of computer power. People can allow their computers to participate in this activity, like elecronic accountants and auditors, to try to earn fractions of virtual currency as a reward for doing the calculations. This is called cryptomining. It takes a lot of computer 'brain energy' to cryptomine and actually earn anything, so criminals wanting to take advantage of the rise in virtual currency have taken to cryptojacking,

Cryptojacking is where criminals trick someone into downloading a type of malware that sneakily uses the infected computer to mine for virtual currency. Sometimes the cryptojacking could go on for a very long time, and the only sign it is there is that the person's computer is going slow. The malware may be created to use only a certain percentage of your computer power to remain as long as possible in place unnoticed. A computer can become infected with cryptojacking software via a variety of ways including: through malicious links in emails, inadvertantly downloading it from a compromised website, or by downloading an app that has been compromised or is masquerading as legitmate software.

Cryptojacking can also be a way for criminals to introduce other malware to compromised systems. Some recent cryptojacking campaigns also include a secondary component such as ransomware.

Ways to help keep your computer safer from cryptojacking

  • Use a reputable anti-virus solution and ensure it is kept up to date

  • Keep your operating system and software patched and up to date

  • Consider using a reputable browser extension that blocks cryptomining

  • Be cautious what software or apps you download

  • Be cautious about clicking links in emails, or enabling macros in attachments

What to do if you are a victim of cybercrime

• Australia, please report the matter via https://www.cyber.gov.au/report

• UK, please report via report.ncsc.gov.uk

• USA, please report via https://www.ic3.gov/


(*) https://www.investopedia.com/tech/most-important-cryptocurrencies-other-than-bitcoin/


Written by A. Turner

© A. Turner 2021 https://www.demystifycyber.com.au/

Provided for general information and education purposes

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