3 Ways to Tell If You’ve Been Cryptojacked… and How Business IT Services Can Help

05/30/2018

In our last article, we discussed cryptojacking in great detail, including information about what cryptojacking is, how it happens, and why cybercriminals are increasingly turning to this destructive method of cyberattack. If you haven’t read the cryptojacking article “Cryptojacking: An Emerging Threat for Business Technology” yet, we highly recommend checking that out first.

However, if you suspect that one or more of your business computers or devices may have already become the victim of a cryptojacking attack, you may want to skip that article and act fast. Read this article to find out how you can identify the situation and learn how business IT services can help fix the problem.

Here are 3 ways you can check to see if your system has been compromised:

  • Check Your Resource Usage

Open the Task Manager (Windows: ctrl+alt+del) or the Activity Monitor (Mac: Finder > Applications > Utilities > Activity Monitor) and look to see if your CPU resources are being maxed out at 99% or more. This doesn’t necessarily spell disaster on its own, but if the program consuming your resources has no business using all that power, cryptojacking may be the reason.

  • Check to See if Your Browser Is Secretly Still Running

Close your Internet Explorer (or Chrome, or Firefox) browser window and open the Task Manager / Activity Monitor to see if the program still shows as open. Cryptojackers typically run through your browser and can create a tiny “pop-up” browser window that hides behind your Start button or toolbar, so it can continue to consume computer resources even after you think you’ve closed your browser.

  • Keep a Close Watch on Your Cloud Bills

Cybercriminals can phish your cloud login credentials and allocate your cloud resources toward mining, but you won’t know about the problem until the end of the month. Sadly, this method can be pricey. It’s kind of like identifying a water leak in your house after the fact… and then having to fix the damage the next month.

How Business IT Services Can Help You Prevent or Repair Cryptojacking Attacks

Cryptojacking spreads like ransomware does, through viruses, phishing, unpatched vulnerabilities, unsecured browser extensions and infected apps, and even through “drive-by” hackings, in which malicious online ads inject mining malware into your system.

In short, it can be hard to protect your business from cryptojacking, but there are a few things you can do to stay safe:

  • Block spam emails
  • Train your staff to recognize and avoid phishing attacks
  • Stay up to date on your antivirus software
  • Install patches and security updates immediately
  • Monitor your CPU and look for unexplained high numbers

If you’re not up to the task of managing all your patches, antivirus, CPU monitoring, or other tech maintenance activities, you can also call for help.

Looking for a business IT services company that offers full-service technology security solutions in the Seattle area? Consider Interplay. Since 2001, Interplay has been a leader in business IT services for small businesses, offering a range of tailored solutions for a varied client base.

Interplay can help you ensure that your systems stay protected and malware-free by helping you secure all your vulnerable access points, blocking spam, and providing around-the-clock network monitoring, patching, and software upgrades with tested backups that are performed as often as every five minutes.

 

Contact Interplay to learn more about how world-class business IT services can help protect your system from cryptojacking and other malicious attacks – starting today.

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