Linux has become the latest target of cryptojackers looking to infect servers and computers around the globe. Linux is used to power some of the most powerful companies, as well as their application and web servers. This new, more advanced cryptojacking script hides itself by implementing a rootkit and is even capable of updating itself. What this means is that even if you update Linux to a version that kills the script, it will auto update to the latest version that can bypass the new version of your OS – scary, right?
Hiding in Plugins
The new strain of cryptojacking script is worked into compromised plugins and infects a user’s system. The plugin will ask for admin rights – which most people will just automatically accept without thinking twice – and then it’s too late – the script will be able to roam freely in your OS without needing further permissions. While it can’t hide the fact that extra CPU power is being used, it will be able to hide its name – so if you notice increased CPU usage and don’t know why, get your PC to a technician as soon as possible and tell them about this script.
Cryptojacking on the Rise
In just one year, cryptojacking cases are up by more than 400% – a rather worrying statistic. As the price of cryptos continues to increase, cryptojacking is proving to be a highly profitable business for hackers who want to make a quick buck. Scripts can be easily made or found online and packaged into friendly looking updates to unsuspicious programs.
Most recently, hackers targeted Adobe Flash updates whereby the user did actually install the latest Adobe Flash update, but inside it was also a crypto mining script. Hackers are becoming more intelligent as time goes on.
India Becoming an Easy Target
Unfortunately, the masses aren’t educated in enough detail to protect themselves from cryptojacking attacks. With a little bit of IT knowledge, you can easily defend yourself from cryptojackers. In India, more than 30,000 routers were compromised with cryptojacking scripts directly from the manufacturer. Someone without the technical know-how wouldn’t be able to detect this and would be turning their home into a huge crypto mining farm. In addition to hitting routers in India, cryptojackers have also been targeting government websites, especially those that receive more than 100,000 visits per month.
Staying safe from cryptojacking is relatively easy. If you notice your computer is starting to get sluggish or hot for no reason, open up the task manager and look for anything suspicious. If you find nothing, open up the Chrome task manager and end all processes that don’t seem legitimate. This should end the script and give you time to take your computer to the technician to get it cleaned out.
Keeping your router firmware up to date is also another vital step in the battle against cryptojackers. Simply open up an internet browser and head over to routerlogin.com, enter the login details – usually admin and password – then look for a section that says device information or updates. Check for updates monthly to give yourself the best protection possible. If this all sounds a bit much for you, we made a super simple guide on how to protect yourself from cryptojacking that you can follow.
Cryptojacking is a horrible plague that is a byproduct of the booming crypto industry. Hackers are using their skills and knowledge to take advantage of innocent web users for their own profit. While it’s not dangerous and you won’t lose any personal data, it can make your computer die a lot faster – so best to stay safe on the web.