Types of cryptojacking and its impact

By Ronak Shah
4 Min Read

Cryptojacking is malware that infects a mobile device or computer and then applies mining methods to mine cryptocurrency.  To mine cryptocurrency, cryptojackers use three methods:

Types of Cryptojacking

1. File-based Cryptojacking:

Download malware to launch an executable file for file-based cryptojacking. This file disseminates a crypto-mining script over the IT infrastructure. Malicious emails are one of the most popular means of accomplishing this.

A link or attachment in an email that appears to be authentic is sent. The crypto mining script is installed onto the computer when a user clicks on that attachment or link, which triggers a code to run. The user is unaware of the script’s background operations.

2. Browser-based Cryptojacking

Cryptojacking can occur within a web browser. IT infrastructure is leveraged to mine cryptocurrencies in this sort of assault. Hackers develop crypto mining software in a programming language and then embed it in multiple websites. 

This dangerous script can be found in advertisements and insecure and outdated WordPress plugins. Additionally, the script may run independently and download the code to the user’s device.

Cryptojacking may also be carried out via a supply chain attack, in which the crypto mining code exploits JavaScript libraries.

3. Cloud-based Cryptojacking

Cloud services are more challenging to hack, but they are still targeted. In cloud cryptojacking, hackers look through files and code for an organization’s API credentials to access its cloud services. Then they use infinite CPU resources for crypto mining, resulting in a significant increase in account charges. It dramatically increases cryptojacking operations to mine for money illegally.

Impact of cryptojacking

A cryptojacking script does not harm a computer or its data, unlike other forms of malware. However, they do steal processing power from computers.

The impact of cryptojacking is related to performance. Slower computer performance may be an irritant for individual users. However, for businesses, cryptojacking can be a significant threat since they have to pay hefty amounts when their systems are frequently hacked.

A company that experiences cryptojacking runs several risks, such as:

1. Impacts productivity:

Employee productivity is harmed when computer systems start to lag. They could have to wait for the IT staff to provide a fix or may have to waste time trying to debug their systems.

2. IT and energy drain: 

When a helpdesk ticket is open, IT must act quickly to identify the issue’s origin, devoting time away from other crucial tasks. In addition, the physical cost of the stolen electricity use is also substantial.

3. Unnecessary equipment replacement expenses: 

Cryptojacking causes wear and tear on hardware and may cause premature upgrade cycles, resulting in increased expenditures for the firm.

4. Opens the door to more threats: 

It exposes users to additional danger since cryptojacking reveals access points that may be readily exploited for attacks like ransomware. However, cryptojacking does more than merely drain resources or reduce system performance.

In light of the rise in cryptojacking, administrators should be vigilant about updating their privacy and security policies, as this attack would only be spread aggressively with many vulnerable systems.

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