By now, you’ve probably heard about cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, Ethereum, and the legendary Dogecoin. They’re virtual currencies that allow for faster and more secure payments. Cryptocurrencies can be worth a fraction of a cent in one minute and thousands of dollars in the next, which is why many people are investing in them.

Even Bill from accounting can’t seem to shut up about them.

But investors and businesses aren’t the only ones interested in magic internet money. Cybercriminals are also trying to get their hands on them by ‘cryptojacking.’

What is cryptojacking?

Cryptojacking is when hackers secretly use your computer to mine cryptocurrency. They often rely on phishing emails to trick users into downloading dangerous files that load cryptomining malware onto your machine. Another method they use is infecting websites with cryptojacking-laden ads and plugins that automatically spread to a visitor’s web browser.

As soon as the malware enters your computer, it consumes processing power, RAM, and energy to generate cryptocurrency, which then gets delivered to the hacker’s private server.

There are no statistics on how much cryptocurrency hackers can mine with cryptojacking, but there has been a worrying increase in attacks, largely because it’s easy to pull off. For hackers, it’s not as risky as a ransomware attack, where they have to coerce people to fork over cash, and it’s not as easy to detect like spyware.

What’s worse is, cryptojacking can take place on a number of devices, and not just on your desktop or laptop. It can spread to your servers, mobile phones, and even smart gadgets. Cryptojacking starter kits can even be purchased from the dark web for as low as $30.

How does it affect your business?

Since cryptojacking doesn’t go after your data, you may think it’s not as threatening as other malware making the rounds, but it can cause a host of problems for your business.

For starters, you’ll notice a dramatic increase in your power and cooling bills because cryptojacking forces your devices to work at full capacity for a prolonged period of time.

Most computers are also not optimized for cryptomining, so if cryptojacking malware infects your computers, there will be significant performance drops, errors, and even system failures that can affect employee productivity.

“I am so close to throwing you out the window.”

Defend yourself against cryptojacking

The best way to safeguard your business from cryptojacking attacks is to practice good security hygiene. This means keeping all software up to date, downloading software from reliable sources, and training your staff to avoid suspicious links and email attachments.

In addition to security best practices, make sure to install browser add-ons that block harmful pop-ups and plugins. You should also consider working with a managed services provider that will proactively monitor and maintain your systems around the clock.

What if you become a cryptojacking victim?

If you notice your device running slower than usual, your CPU overheating, and your battery draining quickly even after you’ve closed all programs, your device may have already been infected. To verify, run a full system scan with your antivirus software, and get your systems checked by security professionals. They should be able to remove the malware with ease, but make sure to back up your data in case the extent of the infection is serious.

Here at Red Key Solutions, we offer all the cutting-edge tools and services New York businesses need to fend off cryptojackers and other cybercriminals. Call us today!

Red Key is a leading cybersecurity company serving New York City, Westchester County, Fairfield County Connecticut, California & beyond. Click here to learn more.