Crypto mining bots are malicious programs that have been created for the sole purpose of extracting cryptocurrencies. Any computer can be infected with a mining bot, but you can take action to protect yourself from malware by installing security software and changing your passwords often. How do you identify if your computer has a mining bot and how do you block them?
What is a crypto mining bot and how does it work
A mining bot is a type of malware. It exists to infect your device and run programs that do everything possible to gain you profit while mining cryptocurrencies on your computer or mobile device.
There are two reasons why this can cause problems for you as well as the people who use these illicit programs:
- The first issue is related to power consumption when malicious software runs in the background without your knowledge. These types of programs are often found on pirated copies of popular applications, like movies and games. As it turns out, downloading fake “cracked” versions of these files may seem like a good deal at first, but you have to ask yourself if the cost is really worth it.
- The second issue related to crypto mining bot activity on your device is due to their propensity for stealing electricity through your internet connection and using it up without you even realizing it. Most people don’t think about the energy that they are consuming in their daily tasks, but malware could be taking advantage of this situation by utilizing resources without any knowledge or consent from the user. This practice can also slow down overall performance as applications may not run at optimal speeds when there is an infection present. As a result, miners have been causing increasing problems for service providers around the world thanks to their ability to cause blackouts and increased power consumption which results in more money spent on energy bills.
Common actions performed by mining bots include:
- Using your processing power to mine cryptocurrency for them without consent
- Jacking up the power consumption of your device to use as much energy as possible
- Redirecting your traffic to websites they want you to visit
- Downloading applications or files onto your device without permission
- Collecting personal information about you and sending it back to the creator
- Adding new registry keys and values without permission
- Hijacking your clipboard data for use on a remote website
- Collecting your search history
What are the different types of crypto mining bots
There are two main categories, or types, of mining malware: mobile and desktop-based.
- Mobile mining involves apps that hijack your mobile devices’ computing power to mine cryptocurrencies in exchange for advertising space on a third-party site. There have been instances where people have lost tens of thousands of dollars due to these programs silently running in the background while pretending to be another application. The average mobile miner has been estimated to use between 70-80% of a device’s CPU and RAM when running. This can cause serious problems for smartphone users, as there is a very limited amount of energy available on these devices in the first place.
- Desktop-based miners are a bit different, but the end results are usually the same. They often install themselves as browser extensions that make it possible to mine cryptocurrencies in exchange for ads on third-party sites. These programs can also infiltrate your computer through torrent downloads or malicious email attachments left on your devices by hackers.
How to identify if your computer has a mining bot
There are a few ways to tell if your computer is infected with malware. If one of these symptoms appears on your device, you may not have much time before the program starts consuming all the energy that it possibly can. Below are some of the most common signs:
- Reduction in battery life – This is a common sign that your computer or device can be infected at any time.
- Reduction in PC performance – Your device may not perform as well as it used to when you notice these types of changes.
- CPU usage spiking – Your CPU may be running at 100% whenever you are using your device. Users may also hear their fans running whenever this occurs, as they will need to work hard in order to stay cool under the extra stress put on them by crypto mining programs.
- Using more bandwidth than usual – If you notice that your internet connection is draining faster than normal for no apparent reason, it can be a sign of an infection as well.
- Windows kernel time being used up – This process tracks how much CPU power is available and what applications are utilizing it in real-time. It should take 0% of Windows’ total processing power unless something goes wrong or an application is actively taking advantage of it without permission.
- High network traffic – You may notice a spike in data use due to the mining bot on your device without any knowledge or consent from you.
- Frequent blue screens with memory dumps or other errors – These can be extremely dangerous signs, so it is best to act quickly in order to prevent permanent damage to your device.
- A weakening internet connection – This doesn’t necessarily mean that there is a problem with your device, but if you notice that your internet isn’t as strong as it used to be then this could be related to crypto mining malware.
What are the consequences of being infected with a mining bot
There are many reasons to worry about a crypto mining bot infection:
- They are secretly using your device’s electricity and resources without your permission. This can cause damage to the device itself, as well as costing you more money than necessary for electricity.
- Mining bots may make it so that all of your software struggle to function properly due to the extra strain leaving them unable to work at full capacity. This can slow down or halt normal operations until the infection is removed and performance returns back to normal levels.
- Due to their design, they often use up way more CPU power than needed or desired which can lead to overheating very quickly while in use. If this happens without any warning, it could cause the device itself to blow up or become unusable. This can be a costly repair, so the best thing you can do is prevent these types of infections in the first place.
How to prevent a crypto mining bot infection
In order to prevent this type of infection from taking hold of your device, it is best to follow these steps:
- Download files only from trusted websites. Avoid clicking on any emails that you aren’t sure about or don’t recognize.
- Make sure that all of your software such as antivirus programs are up to date and fully functional at all times. You may want to stop using them if you notice that they are no longer working correctly due to some problems with updates.
- Keep an eye out for any signs of high CPU usage by apps or browser extensions. If something seems like it might be causing this, then you should take action to stop it before it gets out of control.
- Read up on ways that other users have prevented a mining bot attack in the past and implement them into your everyday routine. This is something everyone can do no matter how much knowledge they have or don’t have about these types of infections.
Protecting yourself means taking actions to prevent infection from taking hold of your device or computer so you won’t even need to worry about what happens if one gets through. The best way to accomplish this is by learning more about what might cause an infection and how you can prevent it from ever happening.
How do you remove crypto mining bots
The best thing you can do if your device is already infected with a mining bot is to reboot it in Safe Mode. Take note that this will not remove all of the malware from your computer, but it should give you enough time to download and install an antimalware program. You may have some issues getting either to work at first, though, as many miners are designed explicitly to block these types of programs whenever they detect them on a device.
If you have already accidentally installed a crypto mining bot on your device, it is possible to remove this type of malware without much difficulty. However, if the infection problem has gotten out of control, then there may not be enough time before serious damage occurs to your computer or device. At this point, you will need to seek professional repair services in order for them to fix what has been broken and save it from being permanently unusable. You can usually find these types of places online if you don’t know any nearby that specialize in the repairs that are necessary. In some cases, they will diagnose the issue while at your home and provide a quote for how much it will cost for repairs immediately rather than having to bring it back again at a later time.
How do you protect your website from mining bots
Crypto mining bots have the potential to cause serious damage to your website over time. This may occur if they attempt to mine cryptocurrency with it and bring down its performance or crash the entire site in the process. Either way, this will leave you with less traffic than before and a much harder time making money from your website without some kind of continuity in performance.
There are many ways which you can prevent this type of attack including:
- Using security software that is updated often to keep up with new threats as they are discovered by researchers online. You should also use non-browser software for mining bot protection as well since these types of infections can target several different types of programs on your device depending on how advanced they are and what they are programmed to do.
- Crypto mining bots are most commonly found on websites with users that download mining software and use it against the sites they visit often. This means you should encourage your website’s visitors to not hesitate to report any suspicious programs or files that they find if they see them on your site so you can nip this type of problem in the bud before it has a chance to spread or cause serious issues later on.
- If you are an administrator for a large website that gets more than enough traffic on a daily basis, then it is possible to adjust the settings of your account to block mining bots from using up too much of your resources. In most cases, these types of attacks can be used again and again by those behind them since they don’t get blacklisted effectively for their behavior.