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More About Hidden Mining, Or How To Protect Your Devices

08:30 09/11/2018

Hidden mining is a fairly new kind of income but not everyone knows that you should be aware of it. In the meantime, any Internet user can become a victim of cryptojacking  regardless of the device type. As we have stated in the previous article, in-browser hidden mining is the most common kind of the cryptojacking.

 

In-browser cryptojacking has become so widespread since the rise of Coinhive. The script was released in September 2017, and by December it headed the sphere. As of autumn 2018, it is the most popular script for hidden mining. Coinhive is used in 19% of cases, according to a report by Check Point Software Technologies, a security software developing company.

 

It is a JavaScript code, that can be embedded in any Internet page. 70% of profit for mining goes to the owners of websites that installed the script, while the script developers get the remaining 30%.

How the interest to the in-browser crypto mining has increased in 2016-2017

It is noteworthy that, according to the Check Point report for September 2018, iPhone owners are more likely to be affected by the miner. In the second half of September, the number of cryptojacking cases with the use of the Safari browser increased by more than 400%. Specialists point out that mobile devices are more vulnerable. So how can you protect yourself from cryptojacking?

 

How to check your device for hidden mining

 

If you suspect that a website might have a mining script, you can check the webpage for hidden mining. All you need is to open the page code and enter the name of the script in the search box. If it is embedded, you'll see it. You need to check the most common options — Coinhive, Cryptoloot, JSEcoin. If it didn't bring results, and the phone keeps overheating and running out of charge too fast, this means you might download a mobile application with a hidden miner.

The worst thing about such applications is that you can hardly detect a hidden miner in them. The apps work properly and do what they are supposed to, while the miner is just an add-on that runs in the background and often remains unnoticed. Unfortunately, no one can guarantee the security of installed applications. There were cases when a hidden miner was integrated into popular applications that had hundreds of thousands of downloads.

 

Therefore, we can only recommend you to carefully choose applications, to pay attention to the development team and feedback from other users, and to use an antivirus.

 

And now back to in-browser cryptojacking. The best way to protect yourself from hidden mining is to prevent it.

 

How to prevent web mining?

 

  1. Pay attention to redirects. When you open new tabs, some websites in parallel open another one and run a mining script.
  2. Check your desktop and browser window. Mining scripts may be implemented in different ways. Sometimes, a miner icon can be detected at the bottom of the screen.
  3. Use browser protection, if it's available. For example, Google Chrome has minerBlock and No Coin add-ons. If there is a built-in script on the page, a user will be notified, and the miner won't work.
  4. The most radical measure is to disable JavaScript. This can be done in the browser settings, but it's worth considering that this will affect the way web pages are displayed.
  5. Do not ignore updates. Browsers and add-ons are regularly updated, and this can protect you from hidden miners.

 

With each month, cryptojacking is becoming an increasing problem for both individual users and companies. Perhaps, experts will soon find an effective way to counter this issue, but attackers are not lagging behind either. This is a sort of confrontation between technologies, and all we can do now is just make sure we do not accidentally fall victims to scammers.

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