‘Cryptojacking’, the term used to describe an invasive method to mine cryptocurrencies. The hacker uses a software hidden in different webpages and it consumes CPU power from the victims. The CPU power of all the victims together can be used to mine cryptocurrencies like Monero.

Cryptojacking – YouTube Affected

It seems that even the giant video platform YouTube, has been affected by these kind of hacks. A site known as Ars Technica reported that YouTube was infected with this software and that Google solved later. The hackers were able to run ads on YouTube that consumed visitors’ CPU power and electricity. That allowed them to mine cryptocurrencies without consuming their own electricity and without the permission of the victims.

Different users from all over the world have commented in Twitter about this situation. Apparently, the antivirus used by these users was able to detect the situation.

Troy Mursch, an independent security researcher said:

“YouTube was likely targeted because users are typically on the site for an extended period of time. This is a prime target for cryptojacking malware, because the longer the users are mining for cryptocurrency the more money is made.”

Google didn’t provide any additional information about the timeframe of the events. Some warnings about the ads emerged between one and two weeks ago.

CoinHive Injections – Cryptojacking

The hackers were using a JavaScript code provided by CoinHive. At CoinStaker we have written about CoinHive injections and how they work. The software provided by this company can be installed in different websites. The intention behind CoinHive is to provide an alternative way for websites to have an income. With this project, CoinHive creators were thinking about an internet with less invasive ads. Cryptojacking

Clearly, this is not what is happening right now. Even when the company announced that the miner will ask for permission to the visitors, hackers are profiting with it. The last time we have reported this situation, we were far from having a massive attack. At the moment, we can’t say the same.

According to a Check Point, 55% of businesses worldwide have been affected by Crypto-miners. CoinHive is the most prevalent miner used by hackers. Some websites were using this software in order to have an alternative way to earn money. The revenue from ads has been decreasing since users are using blocking tools.

The Solution?

It is important to always track the power consumption of the CPU. If the person sees an unusual activity in how the CPU is working, it must immediately check which is the reason behind it. If you are planning to use for a long period of time a website, maybe it is worth to check whether it is infected or not.

Another solution is to have Opera’s new browser. On January the 4th, Opera has launched a new version of its desktop web browser. It includes exclusive features like the possibility to avoid Cryptojacking attacks. It is the only browser as of today that has this integrated solution to a problem that affects a lot of people.

Krystian Kolondra, head of Desktop Browser Opera said:

“We are fans of cryptocurrencies but we simply don’t accept that websites are using people’s computers to mine coins without their knowledge of consent. With the new Opera 50, we want to kick off 2018 by providing people a simple way to regain control of their computes.”

Another solution that Google Chrome and Firefox are using is an ad block. This ad block can be downloaded and installed in the browser. In this way, it will be more difficult to be a victim of Cryptojacking techniques.

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Image Courtesy of Pixabay

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