If your computer starts to work slower, and in payments for electricity there are prohibitive amounts — you may have been a victim of black miners.
To run the cryptocurrency, the average user needs four things: powerful computer hardware, a special program for mining, a reliable pool (the server that distributes the calculation of the block signature between the group of miners) and self-confidence. However, every year the process of mining Bitcoin becomes more difficult, and competition is increasing.
Today, one transaction takes about as much electricity as it spends for a day 1.6 American family. And according to forecasts, by 2020 the electricity consumption for Bitcoins will be equal to the annual energy consumption indicator of the country like Denmark.
In such conditions alone to earn Bitcoin from a home computer is almost impossible, but alternative currencies — Altcoins — quite. That’s why modern programmers-miners come up with new ways to obtain cryptocurrency using other people’s computers.
How cybercriminals use computers
Wherever there are rules, there are those who violate them. And the world криптовалют not an exception. Some miners do not pay for electricity, pulling the cable to the transformer, someone smuggling carries video cards from China.
But most often cryptocurrency borrowers use other people’s computers. In particular, in September of this year, Kaspersky Lab discovered two large networks of computers engaged in cryptocurrency mining. One network is approximately 4,000 pieces of equipment, the other — 5,000. As it turned out, they were all infected with the virus, and the owners of the equipment did not even suspect they were involved in the extraction of digital currency, helping the creators of the virus to earn tens of thousands of dollars every month.
As a rule, in the process of cryptojacking, crypto-loans Litecoin, Feathercoin, and Monero are extracted. Their extraction does not require the presence of equipment with large capacities, and it is possible to extract coins from ordinary home computers.
Types of cryptojacking
There are two main types of mining with the use of different computers, which are used by hackers.
1. Browser Mining
The warning that visiting dubious sites can harm your computer is also effective in the case of crypto-currencies. You just need to click on the link to the resource, in the script which the desired code is written, and, while you are on the site, your computer will become part of the network for the generation of cryptocurrency.
However, not only little-known sites fall into the risk zone. In September of this year in the epicenter of the scandal was a well-known Ukrainian media holding, whose users became involuntary extractors of Monero. A similar charge was put forward and the American television channel Showtime.
For the first time a virus-miner appeared in 2011, but since then it continues to hit the computers of ordinary users. You can pick it up by clicking on the link from the email or by installing a dubious program. All computers with strong technical characteristics fall into the risk zone.
Viruses do more harm to computers than browser mining, because they are more actively using computer power. Nevertheless, many more users become victims of browser attacks.
How to understand that your computer is infected
The only expressed sign of a mining attack is the braking of the computer.
If this happens on a particular site, then, perhaps, the attackers have penetrated through the browser. It is especially important to observe, whether the technics work typically, on the resources demanding long pastime, for example on torrent-trackers, sites with online games and films.
Another additional sign of the mining attack is high consumption of electricity.
Most often, antiviruses recognize programs with miners not as viruses, but as potentially dangerous programs that degrade the performance of the computer. In fact, the miners do not do any other harm than using your resources. It is also important to pay attention to this.
Popular virus programs for cryptojacking
It’s time to talk more about the tools that attackers use most often and which ordinary users need to know about to protect themselves.
1. Trojan Miner Bitcoin
If an average person on average loads his computer by 20%, then Miner Bitcoin increases this figure to 80 and even 100%. Spyware not only uses resources but also steals data about the owner of the equipment. A particular external sign of the presence of the virus is a higher noise level of the video card cooler. You can grab Miner Bitcoin by downloading Word documents or pictures, basically, it is distributed via Skype.
A program that uTorrent users have noticed and that uses the capabilities of other people’s computers to solve their problems. In response to the accusations, the company’s representatives noted that the funds received using mining go to charity. However, such a position is at least strange. Given the ignorance of the users of the torrent tracker about the use of their technique.
It is important to know that when you remove EpicScale, its executable files on the computer remain.
By the way, recently the scandal involving the production of cryptocurrency, flared up around the torrent tracker The Pirate Bay.
3. JS / CoinMiner
This is a type of malware that allows you to extract cryptocurrency through user’s browsers. Most often, scripts are being introduced into gaming sites and resources with streaming video. Such resources load the processor, which allows leaving undetected mining.
Browser mining: how to ensure its security
Today, there are several effective ways to protect your computer from browser attacks:
- Edit the file called hosts.
- Install the Anti-WebMiner utility and the NoCoin browser extension.
- Add a special Anti-Mine Filter to AdBlock and uBlock.
How to not catch a virus-miner: precautions
Here are some rules of dealing with a computer that will help you not to become a victim of miners. Read and use.
Basics of the basics: do not download unlicensed products, do not enter activation keys from untested sources, do not go through questionable links.
- If you are the owner of an Apple computer, set the option to download the software exclusively from the App Store.
- Remember that it’s not enough just to install an antivirus, it’s also important to constantly update it to the latest version.
- If you use Windows, create yourself a user account and log in with it. To install programs you need administrator rights, so you level the risks by accidentally downloading and running.
- If you notice that your computer is slow, start Task Manager and check to see if there is a program that uses your processor for 80-90%. However, if it is not there, do not rush to relax: often the programs-miners use less power and notice them more difficult.
- Install utilities that, in addition to anti-virus protection, report any changes to the registry. It’s best to install both uMatrix and RequestPolicy Continued at the same time, and the Antiminer blocker is also available to Google Chrome users. Scan your computer through AdwCleaner or Malwarebytes, which identifies spyware.
If your antivirus does not find a potentially dangerous program, you can try to reinstall the operating system, install another antivirus product, or contact a familiar programmer who will find malicious files and delete them.