The increasing popularity and price of Bitcoin and other digital coins have led to a series of scams, started by several people who used advertisements and promotion to attract people into fraudulent schemes involving cryptocurrencies.
The latest scam is cryptojacking – introducing codes into websites or ads to extract power from the computers of users who access these sites. Scammers use the computer resources to mine cryptocurrencies.
How others make money using your computer
Cryptojacking is a type of cyber-attack that uses user computers to produce virtual currencies.
Attackers appeal to users’ resources as the increased complexity required for virtual coins generation demands more and more processing power, which significantly increases electricity costs. So, due to the cost of hardware and energy power, hosting your own infrastructure to generate Bitcoins is no longer so profitable.
Mining currencies applications are easier to monetize. Because once a scammer has access to the victim’s device power, gains earnings just minutes after. Furthermore, users don`t know they are scammed, only experience difficulty when using the device, which in many cases means that the process takes place without their knowledge.
Scammers use secretly power devices to make money
Taking power from a computer is a double-edged sword. If it`s done without informing the user, then it is illegal and immoral and it`s called cryptojacking. But if you inform the user, things are not illegal, especially because this software can be modified in order not to consume too many resources. In this case, you may find it under – distributed computing resources.
Many websites do that, monetize their traffic using their computer power to mine. Some inform their users, others not. Some sites don`t even know they’re infected with CoinHive.
An example of a site that used its users’ computer power is – The Pirate Bay. Although site owners claimed they tested as monetize alternative method for ads, there was no official announcement. You may read a report about this here.
How to block cryptojacking?
In 2018, there are easy ways to block a site from making cryptojacking without your knowledge. Here are the steps:
If you feel that your processor is trying too hard, that your computer fan is fussing very loud, it means something consumes a lot of power. Time to check.
At the browser level, there is a whole suite of extensions that can be installed on both PC and mobile platforms developed to prevent such scripts from being executed without the user’s consent.
If you want to block before any mining attempt through CoinHive or other software you can install the Google Chrome extensions NoCoin or MinerBlock; it blocks the script from CoinHiv. These extensions also show you if your site has miners in the code.
If you use the Opera browser, NoCoin has a built-in standard without having to run an extension.
Examples of extensions :
- Ghostery (Safari | Microsoft Edge)
- ScriptSafe (Google Chrome)
- Coin-Hive Blocker (Google Chrome)
- NoScript Security Suite (Mozilla Firefox)
Cloud Mining Ponzi Scheme
Cloud mining is a type of mining, but you don`t buy the mandatory equipment, but you “reserved” from one of the companies that offer these services.
This is a difficult business with a high risk of fraud, blurred mining operations with a profit not so big.
Basically, you make a 1-year contract with them in which you buy GH/s (in case of Bitcoin) or KH/s (Ethereum) then they mine to your place and you get a certain amount. This amount isn`t as big as mining yourself nor even as buying in first tokens. The maintenance cost for the money you make it up to you to pay it.
How this attract people?
Invest a nice amount at first and then continue to reinvest what you earn. You`ll generate a passive income quite ok, in the sense that you recover your money in about 3-4 months, the rest being pure profit.
Maybe, in the beginning, cloud mining was interesting and even worked. You could make some nice money then. But after a while, cloud-mining firms continued to raise fees (electricity power, maintenance), and Bitcoin was down (eventually at $200). Due to that cloud mining is not a profitable legal business. Then the scammers appeared: they said they were cloud mining companies, but they actually had a small Ponzi in the back. They were spinning the money and after a while, they disappeared.
Mining Max LLC, an American company accused of a $ 250 million fraud for a mining operation for the Ethereum currency. This scam cloud mining was unleashed when the company wasn`t able to pay its clients.
Mining Max provided a customized mining equipment that would have forced the customer through a two-year contract without the possibility of retirement. Customers paid an initial $ 3,200 investment.
The profit didn`t come from mining or a profitable investment of crypto coins. But from membership fees, buyers being encouraged to recruit new members.
Stay safe and informed
If you want to try your luck in cloud mining it`s your choice. Do not invest more than you can lose. Cloud mining is not as profitable as it was to be.
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