Saturday, 27 January 2018

Youtube Ads being utilized by Hackers to illegally mine Cryptocurrency

Mining Cryptocurrencies has become quite popular these days.However, using other people's resources without their consent doesn't sound quite moral.

Such an act is known as Crypto-jacking or Drive by mining. The incentive the hackers have to do such an act is that, the more computing power an individual or a group has, the more cryptocurrency one can mine.

This method was implemented on sites like Piratebay and other popular sites, with high volume of traffic so that the hackers can obtain access to a large quantity of individual visitor's computing power and resources.


According to Trend micro, the discovery of crypto-jacking scripts tripled after initial reports given by users on Twitter. The affected user's hardware suffered from 80% of its CPU power being utilized for mining Monero for the hackers.

Youtube ads were also used to mine Monero at the expense of visitor's resources. The anti-virus employed by the users indicated that the ads being played were in fact crypto-jacking scripts which were trying to hijack the users computer. Which is the reason why the reports popped up in the first place.

For now, Google has said that the scripts have been removed. It is recommended that one keeps an anti-virus on hand just in case. It is not possible to pinpoint how much cryptocurrency has been stolen by the hackers.

Opera has updated their desktop and mobile browsers to prevent such crypto-jacking, by using a blocker.

Fig) Screen Shot of fake advertisment seen in a crypto-jacking script.

It is to be noted that some crypto-jacking scripts are prompting users with easily understood fake advertisement prompts like the one shown in the screen shot above.




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