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The Rising Threat Of Cryptocurrency Mining Malware

November 16, 2017

Nick Bell

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Cryptocurrency miners are rapidly establishing their reputation as one of the biggest threats to cyber security, having been named as the sixth most-used malware in October.

The JavaScript program known as CoinHive is a variant of malware designed to mine the Monero cryptocurrency without the user’s consent when they visit an affected website. These concealed programs work by piggybacking on the processing power of website visitors, which can result in the fraudulent use of up to 65% of an end-user’s total CPU resources.

As well as slightly increasing the visitor’s electricity bill, the script has the potential to make users’ networks suffer from latency and decreased performance.

It is also possible for the website owner to not even be aware that the software has been installed on their site, making this a particularly cunning form of malware — as visitors browse the site, the currency generated by their machine is then transferred to the digital pockets of unknown hackers.

While cryptocurrency values continue to surge, hackers will undoubtedly keep exploiting this unjust method of gaining profit.¬†As with all instances of cyber security, a preventative approach is the best to take. Ensure you have a browser plugin installed that blocks adware and malware, and look into the benefits of a firewall if you haven’t done so already.