Advertisement

How To

How to tell if your PC is cryptojacked

Jeremy Milliner

Published

There are a lot of reasons a computer could be slow: Excessive programs running in the background; bloated temp files; a corrupted hard drive; or if you’re unlucky, it could be malware and viruses. One particularly sinister emerging threat is cryptojacking, which can increase overheating, slow down processing speed, and drain your batteries – all under the radar.

Cryptojacking

What is cryptojacking?

Cryptojacking is when someone takes hold of your computer to mine cryptocurrency. Often, hackers will ensnare you by infecting a website or online ad with an infected JavaScript code. The code auto-executes once loaded into your browser. Alternatively, a hacker might lure you into clicking a malicious link in an email. Once you click it, it uploads a cryptomining code to your computer and suddenly your processing power is getting leeched to an outside source.

Why would someone bother doing this?

Money.

Cryptojacking allows someone with malicious intent to steal computing resources from a victim’s device instead of having to build their own dedicated cryptomining computer. In this way, they can compete against sophisticated cryptomining operations without any of the costly overhead.

Stay protected

Even on a healthy computer, it’s tough to track the origin of a program that’s draining all your CPU. It’s harder still when you’re trying to do so on an infected computer that’s slow as dirt. Troubleshooting when your computer can barely chug along is a nightmare. As such, the best way to deal with cryptojacking threats is to not get infected in the first place.

A smart, secure browser is your first line of defense – especially one that can block JavaScript. While this effectively closes any door on a cryptojacking attempt, the obvious drawback is that blocking JavaScript will also cull functions that you like and need. The best middle ground is Opera, a browser that’s been fighting the cryptojacking war since before we even knew about it. If you install Opera on your mobile device, it’ll actually block risky mining scripts when visiting a site. It’s analyzed over 100 mined websites, and noted how smartphones such as the Galaxy S8 or HTC One suffered reduced performance when exposed to cryptojacking.

Opera Mini cryptojacking

You can also download an extension like No Coin which blocks miners using your computer resources without consent. Opera even comes with the extension already installed on download.

Lastly, Opera even made this cool test to tell you whether you’ve been cryptojacked. If you’re a regular user of cryptocurrency, it might be a good idea to bookmark the page.

Using Opera in tandem with a strong anti-malware tool will help keep your PC protected from cryptojacking attempts, but it always helps to take extra precautions before clicking on that sketchy email, or opening a link that you don’t trust. Stay frosty, and stay tuned with Softonic for more tips and tricks to keep protect your computer protected.

You may also like