How to prevent your PC from creating Bitcoins without you knowing it

Hackers' attacks aiming to exploit our PC's computing power to generate cryptocurrencies are constantly increasing

A research conducted by IBM Managed Security Services has discovered how hacker attacks aimed at generating cryptocurrencies by exploiting the computing power of our computers are constantly increasing in recent times. In practice, cyber criminals exploit our PCs to earn money by generating Bitcoins.

Unfortunately, there are several techniques to find out if someone is earning money thanks to our computer, exploiting its computational capacity. First, we need to check the CPU utilization. If it is too high, it means that there is something wrong. If we own a Mac to check the status of the CPU we go to Activity Monitor, while if we own a Windows PC we have to go to Activity Manager. Here, if we notice that if we visit a particular website the CPU usage is intense, or if the CPU remains constantly under strain despite the fact that we are not using any programs, it means that we are under hacker attack.

How to defend yourself

According to the investigation of ESET researchers, almost always a PC is infected with malware to generate Bitcoin through a malicious website or an advertisement containing a virus. In this case to stop cryptocurrency mining just close all browser tabs. We can also block Javascript for added security. To increase the protection of our device we can also turn to some web extensions. Some of these services, in fact, allow you to block sites and advertisements that try to exploit the computing power of your PC to generate Bitcoin. Thanks to some special tools, these extensions monitor the activity of the sites we are surfing on and understand if there is any bitcoin mining going on.

Beware of Photos and Links

B IBM researchers have discovered, however, that there is a more sophisticated family of these malware that act through malicious photos circulating on social networks and apps and spread through malicious links. According to IBM, these viruses almost always tend to target SMBs and large enterprises. It must be said that most of the cryptocurrencies generated in this deceptive way do not go to feed the Bitcoin network but that of the other virtual currency known as Monero. It is no coincidence that the value of Monero has increased from $15 to $140 in the last few months alone.