17:31How To Tell If Your Computer Has Been Been 'Cryptojacked' To Illegally Mine Bitcoin
There's a few ways that you can become a cog in this machine.
You might receive a malicious link within an email, which when clicked downloads a cryptomining code onto the computer, which then runs in the background.
Alternatively, the hackers might infect a website or a pop-up advert with the same code, which then auto-runs once it appears in the browser.
Whichever way it happens, the code is working away there in the background, sapping away your energy and CPU.
It's an incredibly complex process, and consumes a tonne of energy. Credit: PA
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It's also possible that some codes can use worming techniques to infect other devices on a network or server, so if one goes, the others soon fall.
Sophisticated stuff, really. It's only likely to get more technologically advanced, too.
Marc Laliberte, threat analyst at network security solutions provider WatchGuard Technologies, told CSO Online: "Cryptomining is in its infancy. There's a lot of room for growth and evolution."
So, how do you stop them getting onto your machine?
In order to give yourself the best chance of avoiding getting cryptojacked, you need to be really careful with your internet security as a whole.
Get yourself some anti-virus software, and only download things from places that you trust.
Couple that with keeping vigilant and watching for malicious emails and phishing scams - if in doubt, don't click on it - and you have a chance of avoiding your computer becoming compromised.
Oh, and adblocker software is a useful tool to avoid mining site and pop-ups.
If you're worried, you can check your CPU usage and processes. If the CPU is particularly high, you may have a problem.
Although, some of the software could even make that appear normal. It's an absolute minefield.
It's a terrifying world out there, but if you're careful enough you might avoid getting ensnared by the criminals.
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