You may have heard about cryptocurrency, especially the popular Bitcoin and its potential to make you rich overnight.
This technology is meant to shame the traditional financial systems while providing the world with untraceable and decentralised currency for trading.
Where there’s money, there’s scams and profiteers – the scammers in the crypto-world are called “cryptojackers” and they can hack into your machine through your browser and use it to mine cryptocurrency.
Why Avoid It?
Crypto-mining is an extremely resource-intensive process which can easily overwork a computer’s processor while draining system resources, inflicting permanent damage on your hardware. The hackers use your computer as a crypto-mining rig through a malicious website in most cases.
Just like any browser malware or advertisement popping up, something you might be familiar with, the hackers can use a website to run crypto-mining scripts on your machine.
Blocking the Jackers
Usually if you think your PC or laptop slows down when you access a specific website, chances are the website is using scripts to mine cryptocurrency using your processor.
You can actually keep an eye on your CPU usage during your browsing session. You can check your CPU utilisation in Windows Task Manager’s (Ctrl+Alt+Delete) “performance” tab for Windows 10.
If the CPU utilisation spikes (to around 80-90%) while viewing a certain website – a website which isn’t supposed to be heavy or use a lot of resources, then there’s probably a drainer script using up your system resources in the background.
Or better yet, you can actually install a crypto-mining blocker in your browser to save yourself from paranoia. These three browsers can block cryptojacking to some extent:
- Opera now comes with a built-in cryptojacking blocker. Previously, it started rolling out in the desktop version’s beta build and now the feature is also available in Opera Mini (Android, iOS) and for the Opera Browser in Android.
- Google Chrome does not come with a built-in crypto mining blocker but you can get add-ons such as Crypto Miner Blocker to protect your computer from being hacked into.
- Mozilla Firefox as well needs an external add-on to block cryptojackers. You can try the NoMiner plugin if you are a Firefox user.