Cryptocurrency mining has been a rather debated topic over the past couple of years. With the right approach, mining can bring a good income. For that reason, this field of activity became very attractive for dishonest people, who infect other people’s computers with malicious software and use their computing power to mine digital coins. In this article, we will talk in detail about such concept as a mining-bot and learn how to detect and remove it from your computer.
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- What is a concealed crypto miner and how dangerous is it for a computer?
- How to detect and remove a concealed crypto miner?
- Prevention is better than cure
A mining-bot on a computer is software that functions in a concealed way and conducts mining of digital coins. A bot uses computing power for mining, and all the earned coins are being allocated to its creator. Obviously, one computer can make peanuts, but if the number of infected equipment amounts to tens or even hundreds of thousands, then the earning of intruders become fairly impressive.
Botnet functions on a virus basis, but unlike the latter, it does not do physical damage to the system, it simply “steals” the computing power of a computer in order to mine cryptocurrency. This may lead to a slower work of a computer but not more.
Searching for a concealed crypto miner is a rather difficult task, especially for inexperienced users. Bots are often invisible to a majority of antivirus programs, and while opening the Task Manager, they usually stop functioning. So how to detect them? If you noticed that your computer started to work quite incorrectly, then it makes sense to check it for the presence of this kind of software. For this purpose, it is necessary to:
- measure CPU with a low load (office applications, simple programs, etc.);
- measure CPU with a heavy load (video rendering, 3D graphics, games, etc.);
- download the AIDA64 application and check the GPU and CPU work;
- analyze the obtained data.
More advanced mining – bots do not function with the open Task Manager and they are even able to shut it down after a certain period of time (on the average 5-10 minutes). Thus, if you notice that the Task Manager shuts down spontaneously, then most likely your computer is used for mining of BTC or other cryptocurrencies.
If you have already detected a bot, so then it is the right time to remove a miner completely from your computer. By the way, this can be done without use of an additional software.
- Proceed with the following path: Control Panel> Computer Management> Task Manager> Details.
- Then, in the “Actions” tab, look for those tasks, which names significantly differ from the standard ones. Often, this is just an awkward collection of numbers and letters, for example “8324ffsdsew21f.exe” (this is just a template; each miner has a unique name).
- Miners often hide themselves behind the files, which are responsible for the system update. Check what exactly is launched by the file with an unusual name.
- After that, simply delete all the exact matches in the register and that is all, your computer is clean again.
A more or less advanced PC user can use this method in most cases.
Like in case of diseases, the best treatment is prevention, the same way everything is arranged in the digital world. However, the belief that a concealed crypto miner harms the computer is not entirely true, but the presence of this “parasite” stealing the PC computing power is unlikely to please anyone.
Therefore, here are some tips that will help to reduce the likelihood of the infection of your computer by a concealed crypto miner almost to zero:
- Do not visit suspicious websites of which you are not sure. Do not click on the links that you receive in the instant messengers, especially sent by the strangers.
- Do not use a pirated software, as there is a good likelihood that a botnet will be inside the program that you need. This rule applies also to media files (movies, music, etc.). Apply the content only via the licensed services.
- Use antivirus programs. They may not always be able to detect the threat of concealed crypto mining, but still the chances of making yourself secure with an antivirus are much higher than without it.
The blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies have become quite a popular topic and a method of earning money, therefore, a sufficient number of fraudsters are concentrated here. The creators of so-called mining-bots, which use the computing power of other people’s computers in order to mine cryptocurrency are among them. These programs do not directly threaten the computer and the victim’s files, but they significantly slow down its work. Their detection is not so easy but, fortunately, they can be completely removed.
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