Cryptocurrencies, ICOs, and the mysterious blockchain are all the rage at the moment. But if you think all this “crypto” isn’t your business, we have bad news: You are its business, big time. In fact, this year has seen the value of many cryptocurrencies skyrocket. And whereas before, cybercrooks were merely interested in them, now they are obsessed.
What’s a miner?
Even if you’ve never had a cryptowallet and have no idea why you’d need one, you’re still on cybercriminals’ radar: You have a computer on which cryptocurrencies can be mined — digitally produced with the help of special mining software.
Actually, the word “miner” refers both to the people who mine cryptocurrencies and to the programs used to do it (see this post for the lowdown on mining). You can install such software yourself — and use it for your own benefit.
But there might be a miner on your device without your knowledge — it could’ve been installed by an attacker who somehow gained access to your computer or smartphone. If so, it will mine cryptocurrency on your device for their profit and at your expense. This is known as hidden mining.
Why do AVs detect miners?
“So what,” you might say. “It’s no skin off my nose. It’s not stealing anything. Let it do its thing.” But mining for someone else is no good for you or your computer. Here’s why:
Mining is a very resource-intensive process. It essentially overloads the processor and video card, slowing down the machine, so you might experience lags and freezes while trying to use it for everyday tasks. The load on the processor and video card not only impacts performance, but also greatly increases power consumption. With a miner working, a computer consumes about five times