Cybergangsters are usually keen on credit card data or passwords, now they have their sights set on a new target: stealing computing power, so-called cryptojacking. Hundreds of millions of Internet users have already been affected. Find out what’s behind it and how you can protect yourself.
Within a year, the price of the digital currency Bitcoin has exploded. The course of the share price shows the madness surrounding crypto currencies and the unbelievable chances of profit and loss. More and more want to be there and invest their money in Bitcoin, Ethereum, Dash or Ripple. But the gold rush of digital currencies is also attracting cyber crooks.
Arithmetic Thieves Work In Secret
Security experts have recently observed more and more attacks aimed at stealing computing power for mining activities. The best-known extension “Coinhive”, which is actually intended to provide site operators with an alternative to banner advertising, has already been found on some hacked pages and even in the arsenal of a dubious group of malvertising hackers. Instead of programming new pests, they simply garnished existing ones with computer power thieves and channeled them into already infiltrated Internet sites – the ruble was already rolling. Just visiting an affected website is enough to get nasty extensions in the background off the visitor’s computer. This secret digging loads the processor, weakens the battery endurance of notebooks and is reflected in the electricity bill with regular use.
Exchange platform sets the ball rolling
The excitement around cryptojacking got off the ground when the “The Pirate Bay” file-sharing platform came to the surface: The latter secretly used the computing power of visitors to reduce the crypto currency Monero. How the malware came to The Pirate Bay remains a mystery. It’s likely that cyber criminals are behind it. The case prompted Adguard’s security experts to discover that hundreds of pages of crypto-miner plug-ins like “Coinhive” or “JSEcoin” were in action. Hackers had apparently even infected government sites in the USA and England with cryptojackers. Computing power thieves are hiding on websites all over the world, Europe and Germany are also affected. In Germany, the well-known airfare search engines airline-direct.de, flug24.de and billugfluege.de were among the victims.
Mining tools nest on millions of computers
But it is not only while surfing that the danger lurks: Kaspersky discovered so-called mining tools for crypto currencies on millions of computers unnoticed. These are used by the attackers to build large mining botnets (a group of thousands of hijacked computers) – hundreds of thousands of US dollars a month can be piled up by cyber criminals. The cyber crooks are particularly greedy for new crypto currencies like Monero and zCash. Because these are not traceable for prosecuting authorities, at the same time the course potential is clearly higher than with the established Bitcoins. The good news: Current antivirus programs usually detect such malware. They are usually powerless against cryptojacking.
What are crypto currencies?
No bills, no coins: Digital currencies are nothing more than numerical codes stored on computers in a digital wallet. Crypto currencies are not issued by central banks, but are calculated by so-called mining. In addition, either particularly powerful computers or gigantic networks of tens of thousands of PCs are used. Mining is rewarded in the form of shares, depending on the computing capacity provided.
Malware Disguised in Display Ads
Cybercriminals cleverly embed the malvertisement software in online advertising, infecting users’ computers. In the worst case, the user is compromised and blackmailed with found data. Cybercriminals try to get sensitive information, such as bank details or passwords or even worse gain control over one or more computers. It can get really nasty when victims that are gullible enough to pay the ransom with the credit card then the cybercriminals take this data and also clear out their credit accounts.
Anti-malware Feature on eBlocker
But that’s over now, because the eBlocker Pro not only protects privacy but also prevents malvertising. The integrated adblocker blocks any tracking advertising – thanks to the anti-malware feature, within seconds you are protected from any ad that could be maliciously infected.
For this, the eBlocker only needs to be connected to a free network connection on the router via the supplied network cable. After a few minutes, the user can then access via the browser of his choice on the control bar of eBlockers and configure other settings. You can also see how many ads have been blocked on the current page by using the advertising feature in the controlbar.