Increase in Cryptojacking Attempts Highlights Need for SecurityAdam Gardiner
It’s no surprise to anyone who has followed cryptocurrency markets that cryptocurrencies are popular with investors. Unfortunately, cryptocurrencies have also become popular with criminals. That’s particularly the case with criminals who engage in cryptojacking, hijacking other people’s computers in order to harness their processing power to mine new units of various cryptocurrencies. The number of cryptojacking attempts has increased over 459 percent since last year and shows no signs of abating. As long as cryptocurrencies remain popular, and as long as computer users don’t take the necessary steps to safeguard their computers, cryptojacking will remain a threat.
What is even more frightening is that it isn’t just computers that can be cryptojacked. Phones, tablets, and other portable electronics are also at risk, as are other connected devices that make up part of the Internet-of-Things (IoT) such as smart TVs. In theory, anything that connects to a network, including thermostats, refrigerators, and Crock-Pots, could be hacked to mine cryptocurrencies for cryptojackers. With billions of devices already in use and billions more to be added in the coming years, there is a huge number of electronic devices at risk.
Thankfully cryptojacking isn’t much of a worry for the Bitcoin community as most cryptojackers prefer to mine Monero, which has become the cryptocurrency of choice for cyber-criminals. And Bitcoin investors have nothing to worry about either, as cryptojackers are looking to steal cryptocurrency mining power, not existing cryptocurrency tokens.
That doesn’t negate the need for security, but as long as investors take the necessary steps to protect their Bitcoin IRAs and other cryptocurrency investments they shouldn’t have anything to worry about. That includes holding cryptocurrency assets in cold storage, as hot wallets and other forms of storing cryptocurrencies that are exposed to the internet are at risk of theft from hacking. Hacking and other electronic forms of theft remain the number one threat to cryptocurrency investors, but as long as investors follow sound computer security and keep passwords and security question answers well-guarded, they shouldn’t have any problems in keeping their assets secure.