Don't Get Cryptojacked...

By now, you have no doubt heard about terms like Bitcoin, cryptocurrency, and blockchain, but, there is a much more sinister term that is making its way into the headlines, cryptojacking. Cryptocurrency is a digital or virtual currency. Cryptojacking is someone using your memory, processing power, and electricity to generate money for someone else, all without you ever knowing.

There are two main forms of cryptojacking:

  • The first works similar to other malware attacks and involves tricking the computer operator into downloading a mining application onto their computer.
  • The second, and far easier method, is to lure users to a website that includes a script for their web browser or embedding it into a high traffic website, and the software runs onto the user’s computer.

It can be hard for users to even know a software has been downloaded onto their computer, as these cryptomining scripts are located on legitimate websites without the website servers even being aware. This is mostly because the mining script is tiny, it can be a few short lines of text that download the small program onto the user’s computer.

Once the user is on the website, the longer they stay, the more cryptocurrency their computer will mine. Streaming websites are the biggest targets because users are on the site for extended period. Websites like Netflix and YouTube are safe for visitors to stream but websites that have pirated content such as movies are cryptojacking their visitors.

So, what can you do to protect yourself from cryptojacking? Mining a computer is very intense on the computers processer, which requires a lot of power, so you will see your battery draining much quicker than it normally would. Another possible clue is that your computer is warm, this is because your computer processor activity is increasing. You should also make sure your computer has an up-to-date antivirus program. Cryptojacking scripts are not viruses, but your antivirus program will also alert you with any type of malicious software.

With new digital currency on the rise, both your privacy and security are at risk. Extract isn’t in the business of cryptocurrency, but we are in the business of protecting sensitive information. We are committed to making sure private information is properly redacted from documents with our automated redaction software that finds personal information, such as social security numbers, dates of birth, etc. and redacts the sensitive information to ensure private information stays private.

If you are interested in learning more about how Extract is doing this or would like to see a demo of our software please do not hesitate to reach out.

About the Author: Taylor Genter

Taylor is the Marketing Specialist at Extract with experience in data analytics, graphic design, and both digital and social media marketing.  She earned her Bachelor of Business Administration degree in Marketing at the University of Wisconsin- Whitewater. Taylor enjoys analyzing people’s behaviors and attitudes to find out what motivates them, and then curating better ways to communicate with them.