Cryptojacking – What is it?
By BUFFERZONE Team, 30/05/2023
Target: Executives and business leaders
Keywords: Coin miners, malware, bitcoin
Cryptojacking is a type of cybercrime in which a hacker gains unauthorized access to a victim’s computer or device and uses its resources to mine cryptocurrency.
The term “cryptojacking” combines “cryptocurrency” and “hijacking.” Unlike traditional hacking methods that directly steal cryptocurrencies or sensitive information, cryptojacking focuses on leveraging the victim’s processing power for mining purposes. Mining involves solving complex mathematical problems to validate and record transactions on a blockchain network.
Cryptojacking can be done in a variety of ways, including:
- Through malicious software: Hackers can infect a victim’s computer with malware that contains a cryptojacking payload. Once the malware is installed, it will begin mining cryptocurrency in the background (utilizing the device’s CPU or GPU), without the victim’s knowledge or consent.
- Through drive-by downloads: Hackers can exploit vulnerabilities in a victim’s web browser to deliver a cryptojacking payload. When the victim visits a compromised website, the payload will be downloaded and executed, without the victim’s knowledge.
- Through social engineering: Hackers can trick victims into downloading a cryptojacking payload by sending them a malicious email or link. Once the payload is downloaded, it will begin mining cryptocurrency in the background.
Cryptojacking can have several negative consequences for victims. It can significantly slow down their devices, consume excessive electricity, and lead to higher utility bills. Additionally, prolonged use of system resources may cause overheating and hardware damage.
What are the risks of cryptojacking?
There are several risks associated with cryptojacking, including:
- Performance problems: Cryptojacking can consume a significant amount of CPU resources, which can lead to performance problems, such as slowness, crashes, and overheating.
- Increased electricity bills: Cryptojacking can also increase a victim’s electricity bill, as the computer will be using more power to mine cryptocurrency.
- Security risks: Cryptojacking malware can also pose a security risk, as it can be used to steal personal information or to install other malware on a victim’s computer.
How can I protect myself from cryptojacking?
There are several things that users can do to protect themselves from cryptojacking, including:
- Keep their software up to date: Software updates often include security patches that can help to protect against cryptojacking attacks.
- Use a security solution: A security solution can help to detect and block cryptojacking threats.
- Be careful about what they click on: Avoid clicking on links in emails or on websites that they are not familiar with.
- Use a VPN: A VPN can help to protect your privacy and security when you are using public Wi-Fi networks.
- Use Isolation technology.
How BUFFERZONE® Safe Workspace™ eliminate the problem:
BUFFERZONE virtual container is created by a kernel driver, which virtually separates the operating system into two zones. The first zone is the trusted zone, which is connected to all the organization networks. The second zone is called the untrusted zone, which acts as a buffer zone where various applications including browsers run isolated from the trusted zone’s memory, files, registry, and processes. This method offers advantages such as low CPU and memory footprint, high quality of experience, and the ability to seamlessly work inside the virtual container without noticing that you are protected from browsing and USB threats.
BUFFERZONE® Safe Workspace™ is the only virtual containment solution, working based on 6 patented technologies. For business continuity as needed, Safe Workspace™ incorporates SafeBridge® – local CDR (Content Disarm & Reconstruct) disarming, right there on the endpoint. SafeBridge® can also utilize server-based CDR as needed.
When the user uses BUFFERZONE the malicious cryptojacking malware is locked inside the virtual container and cannot escape and lateral movement inside the organization and organization servers as a result the organization stay safe.