Cryptojacking: How Hackers Exploit Your Device’s Resources

Published Categorized as Crypto

In today’s digital world, where technology reigns supreme, there’s a lurking threat that may be draining your device’s resources without you even realizing it: cryptojacking. But fear not! We’re here to shed light on this clandestine practice, how it works, and most importantly, how you can protect yourself from falling victim to it.


Understanding Cryptojacking

So, what exactly is cryptojacking? Picture this: you’re innocently browsing the web on your laptop, only to discover that someone has clandestinely turned it into a cryptocurrency mining machine. That’s cryptojacking in a nutshell. It involves hackers surreptitiously hijacking your device’s computing power to mine cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin or Monero, all without your consent.

The Mechanics Behind Cryptojacking

Cryptojacking operates in the shadows, camouflaging its activities to evade detection. From embedding malicious code in websites to sneaking into your device through phishing emails, hackers employ various tactics to exploit vulnerabilities and siphon off your device’s resources.

Browser Cryptojacking

Once a prevalent method, browser cryptojacking has waned in recent years due to improved security measures by browser developers. However, it still poses a threat to those with insecure browsers. Hackers embed mining scripts into websites, exploiting visitors’ CPU power without their knowledge.

In-host Cryptojacking

Similar to phishing attacks, in-host cryptojacking tricks users into downloading and installing seemingly harmless software that covertly harbors mining malware. This method preys on unsuspecting users who download software from third-party sources.

Taking Control of Network Infrastructure

In a more sophisticated approach, hackers infiltrate victims’ network infrastructure to gain access to multiple devices. By compromising Wi-Fi routers, they can deploy mining software across an entire ecosystem of devices, amplifying their mining operations.

Leveraging Cloud Services

Cryptojackers leverage rented cloud computing resources to mine cryptocurrencies remotely. By hijacking cloud accounts or compromising virtual servers, they exploit the vast computational power of cloud services for illicit gains.

Detecting Cryptojacking

Now that you’re familiar with how cryptojacking operates, how do you know if your device has fallen victim to it? Look out for these tell-tale signs:

  • Suspiciously High Electricity Bills: Cryptojacking can drive up your electricity bills as hackers hijack your device’s resources for mining.
  • Overheating: Excessive CPU usage from mining activities can cause your device to overheat, even when idle.
  • Poor Performance: Cryptojacking consumes significant processing power, leading to sluggish performance on your device.
  • High CPU Usage: Monitor your device’s CPU usage to detect any abnormal spikes, indicating potential cryptojacking activity.


Protecting yourself against cryptojacking requires a proactive approach to cybersecurity. Here are some essential tips to fortify your defenses:

Secure Your Router

Your router serves as the gateway to your network, making it a prime target for hackers. Change default passwords, enable firewalls, and regularly update firmware to thwart unauthorized access.

Use Ad Blockers and Disable JavaScript

Employ ad blockers to fend off crypto mining scripts hidden in online ads. Additionally, consider disabling JavaScript in your browser to prevent malicious scripts from executing.

Secure Servers and Cloud Configurations

Implement robust security measures for your cloud infrastructure, such as using Cloud Access Security Brokers (CASB) to monitor and control access. Regularly audit cloud configurations to identify and mitigate vulnerabilities.

Utilize Software Composition Analysis (SCA)

Leverage SCA tools to identify and remediate vulnerabilities in open-source software, minimizing the risk of cryptojacking malware infiltrating your systems.

Stay Informed and Educate Employees

Keep abreast of cybersecurity news and emerging threats to stay one step ahead of cryptojackers. Educate your employees on recognizing and mitigating cryptojacking risks to foster a culture of cybersecurity awareness.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Is Cryptojacking Legal?

  • Whether cryptojacking is legal depends on the circumstances. While unauthorized cryptojacking constitutes illegal activity, instances where users or companies permit mining on their devices are not necessarily illegal.

2. What Are Cryptojacking Scripts?

  • Cryptojacking scripts are lines of code, often written in JavaScript, designed to covertly mine cryptocurrencies by exploiting visitors’ CPU power when embedded in websites or advertisements.

3. Why Does Cryptojacking Occur?

  • Cryptojacking is driven by the profitability of cryptocurrency mining. By hijacking others’ computing resources, hackers can reduce their costs and maximize their profits from mining operations.

4. Can Antivirus Software Detect Cryptojacking?

  • While some antivirus software can detect known cryptojacking scripts, new variants are constantly evolving to evade detection. It’s crucial to keep your antivirus software updated to defend against emerging threats.

5. How Do Cryptojackers Find Their Victims?

  • Cryptojackers often target vulnerable devices and networks by exploiting known vulnerabilities or leveraging compromised databases containing hardware and software information.

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PfSense: PfSense is an open-source firewall and router software distribution based on FreeBSD. It provides firewall, VPN, and routing functionality and is widely used for securing networks and managing internet traffic.

Soekris: Soekris Engineering is a company that specializes in embedded computing hardware, including single-board computers and network appliances. Their hardware is often used in conjunction with software like PfSense to build custom firewall and routing solutions.

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When it comes to setting up a VPN with PfSense on Soekris hardware, it’s essential to ensure compatibility and follow best practices for configuration and security. By leveraging reliable hardware like Soekris and robust software like PfSense, you can establish a secure network environment tailored to your specific needs.

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