- The team of experts of S2 Grupo has stressed that this is a very “silent” type of malware for users, so many households may be unknowingly “mining” cryptocurrencies.
- Some recommendations to avoid being victims of this cybercrime are to avoid access to illegal download sites or pornography websites, to use only official software and to regularly update computers.
Valencia, June 6, 2018.- S2 Grupo, a company specialized in cybersecurity and critical systems management, has warned that cryptojacking attacks have increased considerably in the last year and infections are already being detected by this kind of malware in all type of devices.
The cryptocurrencies are a digital system of payment on the Internet, which use a digital encryption based on cryptography, which allow economic transactions of all kinds without the need of intermediaries such as banks or countries, in order to promote more secure and more private economic transactions. With the rise of this form of payment, especially known after the emergence of Bitcoin (one of the most widely used cryptocurrencies), cybercriminals have also found a new way to act in this area.
Cryptojacking is a cybercrime that consists of installing malware on computers, tablets or any other online device, which hijacks them and makes them work with all their power, as soon as they are turned on so that they “mine” (create virtual money) cryptocurrencies and thus, later, be used by cybercriminals for their own benefit.
“It is more than likely that very many people have been mining Bitcoins without being aware of it. This is one of the quietest malwares that exist and can go completely unnoticed by the user. To create this virtual money, cyber-criminals need to solve very complex mathematical operations and for this they need a great computing power. It is impossible to do it with just one computer and this is what motivates them to hack other devices to make them work together“, said José Rosell, managing-partner of S2 Grupo.
“The number of devices they need and the energy consumed to mine cryptocurrencies are so high that the investment it required was not profitable. The main benefit that these cybercriminals obtain is the economic one, they take advantage of all these resources of the computers and other technological devices that they hijack to create their own virtual money“, explained Miguel Ángel Juan, managing-partner of S2 Grupo.
The main consequence of this type of cybercrime is, on the one hand, financial, since the devices use all their possible power to mine cryptocurrencies from the moment they are started up, causing a greater consumption of energy, processor breakdowns and overheating. And, on the other, it is an attack on the user’s privacy, since those attackers could have access to any type of information contained in those computers or tablets, for example.
Tips to avoid cryptojaking
Experts from S2 Grupo have pointed out that the main ways of infection with this type of malware is the use of illegal download or pornography websites (since they are one of the most commonly used means by cybercriminals) or the security problems of Internet browsers themselves.
To avoid being victims of cryptojacking, it is recommended not to access this type of website, to use specialized applications in the browser that identify and alert if any page that we access can have some mining behavior, to install only official software, to periodically update both our devices and their software.