To add to the list of online anxiety, the newest fad in hacking is using compromised websites to mine cryptocurrency using the user’s computing power without their consent. This new form of adware and spyware is known as “cryptojacking,” which uses the users computing power to earn currency for the hacker unbeknownst to them.
Miners using malicious software is not a new thing in the market, but the advent of cryptojacking is very new, and something that appears to be on a stark rise. One of the easiest parts of using this method is that hackers don’t need the user to download sketchy software, rather they can simply upload pieces of code onto a compromised website, wherein the website then does all the work.
It is not incredibly difficult to tell whether or not this is occurring to your computer, but its not easy as well. Most of the time, a simple look at your computing power can alert you to whether or not its occurring. If there is a random spike in CPU usage, it could signify that this is occurring, but most of the time it is hard to notice.
The idea for cryptojacking has become extremely popular in the past few months as companies have attempted to legitimize this method of revenue creation.
Companies like Coinhive have attempted to replace advertising with this but the difference is, they ask consent from the user. If the user is consenting, this could become a massive upgrade in the world of online revenue, and could help websites to fight off various forms of ad-blocking software. Ad-blocking software has been on the rise and has caused websites to have financial trouble, as their primary method of revenue creation comes from this. With cryptojacking on the rise, hopefully it does not bring a bad name to the market as a whole.