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Cryptojacking on Mobile, PC on the Rise – Are You in Danger? 

Hackers are intruding into your system via malware to mine cryptocurrency like Bitcoins. 

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Video Editor: Rahul Sanpui

We all know that cryptocurrencies are the rage right now, and their valuation has jumped manifold over the past six to eight months. This has enticed many to start mining their own cryptocurrency.

This basically means using powerful computers to verify blockchains of code and be rewarded in the form of cryptocurrency like Bitcoin. But, instead of buying heavy equipment and splurging on big power bills, hackers have devised a new way to get it done – they hijack other computers and make them do the mining work.

How does this happen, you ask. Well, recently, thousands of UK and US government websites were infected with a malware that secretly forced visitors' computers to mine cryptocurrency for the hackers.

They simple infected the websites with a malicious version of a popular software, and altered its plugin code which allowed them to secretly run the mining software known as Coinhive on machines, without anyone being able to detect the intrusion.

When a user visits an infected site, the miner on the site gets activated and starts using the hardware resources of the victim visiting the website.

This issue is not only worrying for PC users but also mobilephone users. According to a research report by Malwarebytes, over 60 million Android phones were infected with a malware that enabled hackers to mine cryptocurrency for them. The users were unaware that they had downloaded malicious apps which redirected them to websites set up for this exact purpose.

The very nature of malicious cryptocurrency mining means that it goes on behind the scene, going out of its way not to alert the user that their computer or phone is being used, besides slowing the system down and consuming more power.

But security experts have been quick to point out that cryptojacking is non-intrusive, as the mining sites aren't looking to steal your data. However, using a phone or PC’s processing power to mine could end up slowing down the device.

While it is tough to detect such activities, you can do your bit by using a pop-up blocker on mobiles and PCs, update your antivirus or anti-malware software, and delete browser extensions and programs not in use.

Of late, malware has become difficult to detect, but as a user all you can do is be smart, safe and aware.

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