Hardly any other topic currently occupies active computer users as much as the cryptocurrencies Bitcoin & Co. It is precisely the enormous fluctuations in exchange rates that arouse many people’s desire to benefit from these digital currencies. And company resources are also used more and more frequently for digging for digital gold – without permission, but with risks that are worth mentioning.
Companies on the topic
Crypto mining by employees or cyber criminals harms companies through increased energy costs and shortened service life of the hardware due to the high CPU load.
Cryptocurrencies, including blockchain technology, will keep us busy for the next few years. Critics point to the negative uses such as ransomware , the trade in illegal goods or money laundering. But there are also many positive uses for cryptocurrencies as they pave the way for a new era of global trade without the restrictions imposed by central regulators.
Many users are currently looking for ways to use existing hardware for mining. Usually, however, this mining is tedious, unprofitable and carries the risk of hardware damage. This calls on the providers of tools that should make it easier to get started with mining. Examples are CCminer or RapidMiner.
No question about it, it is completely legitimate to use your own hardware to mine cryptocurrencies. However, many users try to use company resources to expand their mining empire, which can involve various risks. Fortunately, these activities are easy to spot and block. The majority of mining applications are classified as harmful by antivirus solutions. Even if mining applications are not blocked, the risk is put into perspective. This is because mining pools are necessary for prospecting, which usually use exotic ports such as 3333, which are blocked in most organizations.
Passive execution of applications for crypto mining
However, avoiding risks in the company network is not that simple. Because there are ways to run crypto mining applications in such a way that they go unnoticed. Various providers such as Coinhive, CoinImp or Coinpot allow mining easily by visiting a website.
These services do not promise a high return on investment, and part of the mining result goes to the parent provider of the script. On the other hand, they offer a quick and easy way to mine cryptocurrency without having to install software on the executing system. With these services it is particularly tempting to use a large number of systems in parallel for your own profit.
Such background activities influence the energy costs and can significantly limit the functionality of the hardware due to a high CPU load. However, it is easy to identify these activities. Browser add-ons such as uBlock Origin take over the task of blocking a large part of the crypto miners by default. Mining scripts that are started in the browser also cause utilization peaks. With network monitors such as the LogRhythm NetMon, it is therefore easy to use domain rules and appropriate monitoring to see who is accessing crypto mining websites.
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