Cryptojacking is More Common Than Malware in Some Countries

Reading Time: 2 minutes

With the rise of cryptocurrencies and scripts that allow you to mine them, cryptojacking cases have also been increasing dramatically. Cryptojacking is the process whereby someone steals your CPU and GPU power in order to mine cryptocurrencies without your consent. It’s becoming a malevolent issue that the global anti-virus community needs to work towards stamping out. In fact, cryptojacking has become so commonplace, it’s more common than malware in the Middle East, Turkey, Afghanistan, and even Africa.

Routers Being Targeted

Smart hackers have noticed that routers are often left vulnerable to hacks and aren’t updated to the latest firmware versions, meaning they present easy ways to build cryptojacking networks. In fact, a batch of 200,000 routers from Mikrotik in Brazil were infected back in August, as hackers exploited a well-known flaw in the firmware. This firmware bug was patched, but router owners aren’t taught how to upgrade firmware, meaning the patch was never installed.

Can’t Trust Your ISP

In India, one internet service provider (ISP) was shipping these same routers, but they came pre-infected with cryptojacking malware. This meant that all of the ISP’s customers were unknowingly giving their CPU and GPU power back to the ISP to mine cryptos. One security expert from India picked up on the cryptojacking scripts and quickly reported it, but the ISP claimed it was a bug in the system. The fact that you can’t even trust your ISP is a worrying sign, as we rely upon them to provide us with legitimate and safe products.

Keep Yourself Safe

More needs to be done to protect people from cryptojackers, and thankfully it’s actually really easy to protect yourself from cryptojacking. Once a month head into your router settings and check for a firmware upgrade. If one is available, install it and you can use your devices with peace of mind for another month. On top of this, you can install script blocking software that will prevent any cryptojacking scripts from running. However, it will also block JavaScript files that let websites load properly – so you have to decide how far you want to go. Learn how to protect yourself from cryptojacking with our really simple guide.

Linux Becomes a Major Target

Cryptojackers are starting to step up their game, as they have developed smart scripts that target Linux systems. Once believed to be relatively safe, these systems are now more vulnerable than ever before. The majority of business systems run on Linux-based operating systems, and one well- directed cryptojacking attack could earn a cryptojacker millions in digital currency.
The best way to protect yourself from cryptojackers is to keep your firmware updated and only visit sites you completely trust. If you feel your machine getting slower for no reason – as well as hotter – it’s worth heading into the task manager and checking for suspicious processes. If you live in one of the regions that are plagued by cryptojackers, it’s worth investing in a good script blocking piece of software to keep your machine safe.