Bitcoin and altcoin mining has become mainstream with the advent of ASIC mining technology, however not everyone is interested in making large investments as a new breed of cyber criminal aims to utilize your hardware for their personal gain. As revealed by Check Point Software, CoinHive , a Java based cryptocoin miner, has become the 6th largest malware program to exist on the internet.
CoinHive has been known to mine cryptocoin’s such as Monero on the hardware of victims. Often embedded within adverts on legitimate sites, the miner leeches of users CPU and Network essentially slowing down the victims computer in the process.
“Crypto mining is a new, silent, yet significant actor in the threat landscape, allowing threat actors to make significant revenues while victims’ endpoints and networks suffer from latency and decreased performance.”
Taking simple countermeasures such as avoiding unusual links will help your computer protected. For users looking for added security anti-virus which provides real-time protection is ideal, with Malwarebytes being one of the best solutions available for consumers. These antivirus programs will block connections to infected sites real-time, although they do have to be purchased on a subscription basis.
To conclude, please remain vigilant when browsing online as the threat of cryptocurrency malware remains a new and fairly obscure one. Especially on cryptocurrency related websites, malware such as CoinHive can cripple user PC’s and network soaking up CPU processing power and RAM. Popular websites such as coinmarketcap.com and Bitquick have also fallen victim to the program which often manifests itself in the form of a advertisement (as reported by Malwarebytes Antimalware on inspection). Some website security providers such as Cloudflare have begun taking down sites which were identified running malware including CoinHive among a number of cryptocoin miners in the background such as ProxyBunker.