Cryptojacking

I’ve always been pretty good about keeping my software updated.  These days, it’s important to keep that web browser updated too.  After all, it may be the most used piece of software you have.

In the beginning, it was just to be able to have the collection of the latest and greatest features.  Then, it become a matter of getting rid of bugs.  All of these are admirable things.

The latest concern though, is Cryptojacking.  It’s the process of visiting a website that elects to run code on your computer to make money on the other end.  Scientific American has a good description of the process in this article.  Is Your Computer Secretly Mining Bitcoin Alternatives? A Guide to “Cryptojacking”

Of course, the best course of action is to make sure that you’re running the latest version of your web browser.  That’s what got me going with the blog post yesterday You’re never alone.  Presumably, if you’re running the latest and the greatest browser with appropriate extensions in place, you’re OK.

How OK?

You might be interested in running your browser against this website.  Cryptojacking Test.

Now, I guess open disclosure is everything and the site displays the Opera logo.  Recently, Opera has been advertising the fact that it actively blocks this sort of action in your browser.  Plus, there’s a download link to get a copy of Opera!

Hopefully, I’m safe.

crypto

Whew!

The site reported that 68% of its visitors were safe so either a) we’re getting the message or b) Opera users are checking out the site.

If that doesn’t make you want to make sure that your browser is up to date, I don’t know what will.  It also makes you wonder – what’s the next big thing that’s going to come along?

I also wonder about situations where computers are imaged by IT Departments once or twice a year.  If you’re not protected by running the most current version of the browser, could an entire school or district be targeted for this sort of activity?

 

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2 thoughts on “Cryptojacking

  1. Thanks, Doug: we had a good conversation about this at our house over a rare lunch together (freezing rain day for 2 high school boys). I was talking about BailBloc, which I had heard about on CBC’s Spark, and my husband was learning that cryptocurrency is created, which was new for him (and he’s the one who’s usually way ahead on stuff like this). We’ll take a look at this for sure. I am certain that school computers are being mined – which makes me wonder whether we shouldn’t be mining them ourselves!

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