Crypto mining malware – is your system infected?
With the extra attention on cryptocurrency over the last couple of months, it’s time to raise a potential issue which could hit computers and laptops of all forms – crypto mining malware. Crypto mining is the process of verifying the block chain and in return receiving digital coins.
While that doesn’t sound too intensive; it actually is (to the point the extra power to do it may contribute to climate change).
Malware is now capable of executing crypto mining processes without a users knowledge. This improves the chances of successfully gaining extra digital coins.
How can an infection get into a machine? Is there any way to tell if it’s happening?
Browsing suspect websites, opening unexpected e-mail attachments are the most common ways to become infected with crypto mining malware.
The best indicator of this happening on your machine is abnormally high CPU usage when the machine isn’t in use. If you’ve closed everything and CPU usage is still high, then you may have a crypto mining malware problem. High CPU usage is purely environmental and varies from device to device – so keep an eye on this in normal usage to gain a gauge.
What prevention methods are available to stop infection?
Adblockers are able to help prevent infection
As mentioned above, crypto mining can occur simply by visiting certain websites but there have been instances where infected adverts on sites have also led to machines becoming infected and CPU usage skyrockets.
Running an ad blocker can help to avoid this happening to your PC or laptop!
Speak with your local IT technician
Unfortunately; anti-virus/anti-malware solutions aren’t able to detect all malware. This is why it’s a good idea to speak with your local IT technician for additional tips. Especially if you’re still concerned of infection or have already been infected and unable to be sure it’s completely removed.
What if crypto mining malware has infected a machine?
When dealing with such an infection; the consensus across many IT professionals is for a complete rebuild of the system to happen. What this means is a complete re-installation of the operating system which overwrites everything; including any nasties which are lurking.
Unfortunately; if you’re doing this then all data and customization made to the OS (think your desktop background, screen savers, etc.) will all be gone!
This is why it’s a good idea to have a backup which is capable of performing a bare metal recovery. This will still overwrite the entire operating system. However; it’ll restore all your data as it was.
If you need more advice around configuring or recovering from backup, feel free to reach out to us as we’ll be able to help guide you through it all.