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October 20, 2017

Are Cybercriminals 'Cryptojacking' Your Internet Browser?

The Internet is, arguably, your business’s most important resource. You use the Internet for everything, from sending email to communicating with customers to paying your employees.

As it turns out, though, you and your employees may not be the only ones who are using your Internet connection.

Cybercriminals are now using a strategy called “cryptojacking,” which involves hijacking someone else’s Internet browser and using their computing resources to mine for cryptocurrency like Bitcoin.

In one recent example of cryptojacking, a hacker infected hundreds of Windows servers with a mining program and generated a total of $63,000 over the course of three months.

 Here’s how it works:

First, a hacker infects a website with malware. Then, an end user clicks on the website and the page loads, which executes the Javascript code and allows it to silently start mining for data. You may not even know it is happening.

The troubling part is that this has been on websites that do not appear to be harmful. For instance, Showtime.com was recently reported to be infected.

So, how do you know if someone is using your Internet browser for cryptojacking?

One way to tell is to pay attention to your processing data in real-time as you browse the Web. If you notice a significant spike in activity after visiting a website, there is a chance that a hacker could be using your resources for malevolent purposes.

The good news is that this problem is easy to stop. You simply have to add pages you deem to be infected to your browser’s ad blocking tool. There is also an extension called No Coin for Chrome that blocks this type of activity.

It’s a troubling example, though, of how hackers are having a field day with unprotected networks and devices. In addition to cryptojacking, for instance, hackers are also taking over unprotected IoT endpoints and using them in conjunction with larger “botnets.” These botnets are being used to launch massive Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) against corporate networks.

Perhaps the most important takeaway here is that the glory days of blindly using the Internet without fear or concern are long gone. There is a dark underbelly of cybercrime on the Web, and if you choose to go online you cannot escape it. Everyone is at risk.

There are, however, steps that you can take to reduce online risks. For instance, you can consult with a managed services provider offering:

  • Real-time network forensics and threat mitigation;
  • Penetration testing;
  • Systems patching and
  • Employee cybersecurity training.

Companies like Apex Technology Services can bolster your defenses and provide you with the critical resources that you need to stay safe online.  

To learn more about Apex Technology Services, click here.

A new breed of hacktrepeneurs has awoken and they have little to fear and everything to gain by infecting as many companies as possible and extorting money from them. Apex Technology Services stands ready to protect your company regardless of whether it’s located in New York CityWhite Plains, New York; Connecticut; Australia; Europe; or anywhere else. Our full suite of cybersecurity and IT support services is at your disposal, enabling you to spend less time worrying about and more time growing your business.

To ensure your security, consider one of our most popular services — Auditing & Documentationwhich pinpoints vulnerabilities in your infrastructure, process flow and internal security procedures.


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