Cryptojacking Attack “Burned My Hand” Says Student

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  • Cryptojacking attack results in burned hand for unsuspecting student
  • Attack follows a cryptojacking attack on supercomputers in Europe last month
  • Attacks will likely increase due to crypto price boom

A cryptojacking attack burned the hand of a student last week, just weeks after more than a dozen supercomputers had to be taken offline due to a large scale attack. The two examples show that the practice, which had reduced in line with the cryptocurrency bear market, is back and bigger than ever.

Cryptojacking Leads to “Scorching Hot” Graphics Card

According to the BBC, Abdelrhman Badr, an 18-year-old from Sheffield in the UK, was playing a video game when his computer cut out. While testing the seating of the graphics card in the computer he burned his hand on a metal component that was “scorching hot”. This was after three weeks of strange behavior on his computer, like fans whirring when it was supposed to be asleep.

This was because Badr’s computer had been cryptojacked, likely from malware he had accidentally downloaded, and hackers were using the graphics card to mine Monero.

European Supercomputers Taken Offline

Badr’s experience was replicated and magnified earlier last month when a number of supercomputers across Europe were sabotaged and made to mine cryptocurrency, including five in Germany. Research into the hacks has discovered that the attackers tried to deploy cryptojacking malware, which, had it been successful, would have been a huge coup for the hackers. However, the computers were disabled after the intrusion was discovered and remedial work carried out.

The number of cryptojacking attacks tend to fluctuate with the price of cryptocurrencies, hence why there was a dip in 2018-19. With Bitcoin having just cleared $10,000 and other coins looking similarly well poised, we could be about to see a rash of such attacks.

Keep Yourself Safe From Attacks

To protect yourself from cryptojacking attacks, ensure that you have a regularly updated antivirus package installed on your computer, take steps to protect yourself when browsing online, and don’t download software whose origin isn’t recognized and authenticated by your computer manufacturer, unless you completely trust the source.