Explained: What is cryptojacking, the cyber attack carried out by crypto miners?

Source: The post is based on the article “Explained: What is cryptojacking, the cyber attack carried out by crypto miners?” published in Indian Express on 28th July 2022.

What is the News?

According to a report, Cryptojacking attacks on computer systems have gone up by 30% to 66.7 million in the first half of 2022 compared to the first half of last year.

What is Cryptojacking? 

Cryptojacking is a cyber attack wherein a computing device is hijacked and controlled by the attacker and its resources are used to illicitly mine cryptocurrency. 

In most cases, the malicious programme is installed when the user clicks on an unsafe link, or visits an infected website — and unknowingly provides access to their Internet-connected device.

What is the reason behind cryptojacking? 

Coin mining is a legitimate, competitive process used to release new crypto coins into circulation or to verify new transactions. It involves solving complex computational problems to generate blocks of verified transactions that get added to the blockchain. The reward for the first miner who successfully manages to update the crypto ledger through this route is crypto coins.

But the race to crack this crypto code needs considerable computing power involving state-of-the-art hardware and electrical power to keep the systems involved up and running.

Cryptojackers co-opt devices, servers and cloud infrastructure, and use their resources for mining. The use of ‘stolen’ or cryptojacked resources slashes the cost involved in mining.

Why is cryptojacking a concern? 

Cryptojacking is hard to detect and the victims of these attacks mostly remain unaware that their systems have been compromised. Some telltale signs are the device slowing down, heating up or the battery getting drained faster than usual.

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