Cryptojacking: Hackers Don’t Always Want Your Data

Among the various cyberthreats that currently exist, there is an increase in the number of systems that are being hacked for the purpose of cryptomining.  Cryptomining, also known as cryptojacking, which is the illicit  mining of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies using compromised systems is rapidly replacing ransomware as the exploit of choice. Hackers are exploiting systems in order to use that computer processing power, storage, and memory to earn cryptocurrency by running programs that mine cryptocurrencies.

The cryptojackers can access your systems through all the standard means of breaking into vulnerable systems that don’t have appropriate security updates. Even network devices like your home router, cellphones, and internet of things devices (like Amazon Echo and Google Home; or a smart fridge or tv) can be susceptible to being exploited. And in the process, they can run up your electricity bill.

You may not know that you’ve been hacked, other than system performance slowdowns (when noticeable) and higher electric bills. The usual ransom notes, or markers of stolen passwords or credit card numbers are not present, because they are not necessarily trying to access your personal data. Moreover these hackers try to avoid detection for as long as possible to increase their potential earnings.

While the primary purpose of the hack is not to steal your data, you still face a threat if someone has compromised your network to perform cryptocurrency mining. It still represents a breach of security and the hackers can at any point maliciously target your data or systems. Additionally, the stealing of your computing resources could adversely affect the operations of your systems, and thus your business.

To limit your exposure to cryptocurrency mining hacks, keep your servers and computer systems up to date. Penetration testing can identify any vulnerabilities in web-based custom applications that you use. As a managed services provider and Miami IT consultants, we keep clients’ systems safe and design solutions that protect the systems and data of businesses. Call us for cybersecurity assessments.

CryptoLocker Malware

What you need to know to keep your computer secure.

As technology and computer’s advance, so do the viruses, trojans, and malware that plague your operating systems. Perpetual updates to anti-virus programs, malware scanners, and firewalls usually keep up with these nefarious activities, but one such malware has proven to be resistant to security updates. The now infamous CryptoLocker is a ransomware trojan which targets computers using Microsoft Windows. The malware appeared in September of 2013.

A CryptoLocker infection can be acquired from various sources. The most common is from an email attachment. When a computer is infected and CryptoLocker is initiated, the malware encrypts files stored on your PC’s local, mounted, and even networked drives. Your files are encrypted by using an RSA public-key cryptography, which means that the key to access your files is stored on the CryptoLocker’s server. Visit bitcoin code German to see how it operates. When your computer is infected, a message will appear offering you the ability to decrypt your data with a payment through BitCoins or other types of coins and cryptocurrency (find more information at https://ethereumcodebot.com/). Additionally, you must pay the ransom by a deadline or risk losing the deletion of the private key and therefore losing access to your private files. If the deadline is missed, CryptoLocker offers to decrypt the data for a much higher ransom.

Here’s what you need to know:

– Always avoid email attachments from unknown senders.
– Back up your PC files consistently.
– Avoid storing passwords, sensitive financial data or other personal information on your computer.
– If CryptoLocker infects your PC, removing the malware itself will not give you access to your encrypted files.
– If your computer is infected, do not try to connect a storage device to recover your back up files.
– Most users report that paying the ransom will allow you to recover your files.
– Consult an IT professional if your computer has been infected with CryptoLocker.

With these general safety tips, most users can avoid common viruses and malware. In the event of a computer or network infection, please call our help desk immediately at 1-888-930-1117.