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Crypto-Jacking Begins to Skyrocket

Crypto-Jacking Skyrockets Over Last 10 Months

Just last month, we introduced our readers to the concept of crypto-jacking.  Crypto-jacking occurs when a hacker takes over a user’s device, without their permission to mine for crypto-currencies.  The crypto-mining act itself, is not malware.  The hackers are merely using the device to mine for the digital currency.

Recent studies have found these crypto-jackers have been targeting various websites to worm their way into devices to begin the crypto-mining process.  Hackers input malicious coding into legitimate, highly trafficked webpages.  Upon visiting these sites, the user’s device becoming a crypto-mining device.  Often times, this activity may go on without the knowledge of the user.  It is typically only discovered when the mining process maxes out the device’s capacity, energy resources or monopolizes the broadband connection.

The uptake in malicious crypto-jacking coding has created a significant uptake in crypto-mining alerts over the last ten months.  In May of 2017, there were approximately 15,000 alerts compared to 280,000 in February 2018.

Avoiding Further Damage

Although the crypto-mining is a legitimate software, the hackers were still able to worm their way into the device to install and run the software.  This means, they can certainly use the same exploit to install ransomware, trojan viruses, or any other form of malware.  Therefore, it is important users keep all programs and operating systems updated.  Users should also run daily security scans, and monitor their computer usage through the Task Manager feature.  If your device has been exploited for crypto-mining purposes, the user will see the web browser using a large amount of resources within Task Manager.  To access Task Manager, users must hold down the Ctrl+Alt+Delete keys, then select Task Manager.

If you’re currently a PC Matic customer and need assistance with accessing Task Manager, or setting up a security scan, you may reach our support team at www.pcmatic.com/help.

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