Cryptojackers on charity website

Charity organisation Make-A-Wish is the latest website to fall victim to “cryptojacking”, a practice which is on the rise.

If you aren’t aware of the term, “cryptojacking” is the practice of placing code onto an unsuspecting website which then uses the computing power of visitors to said website to mine cryptocurrency, like Bitcoin.

Although it’s not as destructive or distressing as ransomware, cryptojacking does have a real-world impact on its victims, like increased electricity bills and increased wear on your PC, tablet or phone.

Jake Moore, ESET Security Specialist, comments on the rise in cryptojackers and the unscrupulous methods that hackers will employ to make money.

“Criminals are using ransomware-like tactics to get business computers to mine cryptocurrencies for them and they don’t care which websites help them in their criminality - they may not even know who the target is until they have been breached.

“The simple reason why cryptojacking is becoming more popular with hackers is that it’s more money for less risk. And so simple for the hacker to operate. Hackers see cryptojacking as a cheaper, more profitable alternative to ransomware and it’s working well with huge rises seen this year.  

To help prevent it, install an ad-blocking or anti-cryptomining extension on your web browsers. Since cryptojacking scripts are often delivered through web ads, installing an ad blocker can be an effective means of stopping them.

Also use endpoint protection that is capable of detecting known crypto miners. Crypto jackers are finding ways to place bits of Javascript code on web servers these days and so many can go undetected for months.” 

Have you ever come across a website that’s been the victim of cryptojacking? Let us know on Twitter @ESETUK.

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