How To Defend Your Network from Cryptomining

As the popularity and value of cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Litecoin have increased, so has the interest in mining them to make money online. Cryptocurrency mining, or crypto mining, is one-way cryptocurrency is earned. People use software to mine cryptocurrency by solving math equations to validate transactions and earn rewards in cryptocurrency. Solving these equations requires a lot of processing power, and cybercriminals are eager to cash in on your devices. 

Cybercriminals install crypto mining software on victims’ devices without their knowledge to use their processing power for mining cryptocurrency; this is known as cryptojacking. That’s why defending your network from crypto mining attacks is essential to protecting your devices and data. 

These attacks can slow down your device, increase energy consumption, and even cause hardware damage. They can also allow hackers to access your personal and financial information. As the value of cryptocurrencies continues to rise, so does the frequency of these attacks, making it crucial to implement strong security measures to protect your network. 


Cryptomining Explained


Cryptomining is a process that involves using powerful computer hardware to solve complex mathematical algorithms to validate transactions on a blockchain network. The miner who solves the equation is rewarded with a small amount of cryptocurrency, which accumulates over time. Since crypto mining requires a large amount of computing power, miners use specialized hardware like ASICs (Application-Specific Integrated Circuits) or GPUs (Graphics Processing Units). Popular cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Monero use different mining algorithms. These include SHA-256, Ethash, and CryptoNight

How To Defend Your Network


Protecting your network is critical to ensure the safety and security of your organization's data. Cryptomining malware can compromise the security of your network. Therefore, taking the necessary steps to safeguard your data from such threats is essential.

Here are four steps you can implement to defend your network:

  1. Implement firewalls, antivirus software, and intrusion detection systems.
  2. Enforce strong passwords and two-factor authentication to prevent unauthorized access.
  3. Block mining pools and use ad-blockers to prevent malicious activities on your network.
  4. Educate your employees on safe internet practices, such as avoiding suspicious emails and not sharing passwords.

By staying vigilant and regularly updating your security protocols, you can effectively defend your network from crypto mining attacks and ensure your devices and data's safety and privacy.

Prevention Best Practices


They say an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure; This is exponentially true in the world of cybersecurity. To ensure that your organization's data remains safe and secure, it is essential to follow prevention best practices. One such practice is monitoring network activity, which involves closely monitoring all network traffic and identifying any suspicious activities. 

Scanning for vulnerabilities and threats helps to identify any weaknesses in your system that hackers can exploit. Regularly backing up data is vital to recovering your data in case of a security breach. Conducting regular security audits is another effective prevention best practice as it helps to identify any gaps in your security measures and address them proactively. Implementing these practices significantly reduces your risk of a security breach and protects your organization's valuable data. 


Fortify Your Network


The rapid rise of crypto mining malware has made it more crucial than ever to defend your network against potential threats. Protecting your organization's sensitive data is requires taking necessary measures to minimize the risk of data breaches. 

Speak with an IT expert at Intuitive Networks today and learn how to implement security measures to safeguard your network against potential breaches. From firewalls and antivirus software to intrusion detection systems and employee education, our team can help you fortify your network and minimize the risk of data loss. Contact us now to schedule your consultation and protect your organization correctly.


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Social Media Terms of Service

Social media terms of service, also known as terms and conditions, are typically extremely lengthy contracts in the tiny fonts that we tend to skip over as quickly as possible. However, those sneaky paragraphs we often skim past to get to the end of the page hold valuable information. Needless to say, privacy policy contracts are lengthy, and although everyone should read them, rarely does anybody. 


With an abundance of social media platforms and their corresponding apps, it’s quite difficult to get through all of the terms of service in one session. We get it; we don’t want to read long and confusing legal documents either. That is why we’re here to shed some light on social media terms of service. 

Understand What You Are Signing


So, what is hidden in those extensive paragraphs? 

When agreeing to a social media platform's terms and conditions, you are confirming the terms of their license. Mind you; this license is legally binding and quite serious in that it protects whatever you are signing up for. Contracts generally require an offer and consent. This means that the user must signal their compliance by clicking acceptance of the terms or providing a digital signature. Other social media platforms imply consent by the use of the platform, with the terms of service, or terms and conditions, provided in a link often found near the bottom of a platform's homepage.


One of the important terms to look out for is the intent for which a license is permitted. This may be specified as “for the sole purpose of promoting the website,” or a purpose may not be specified at all. It is worth knowing whether the purpose of a given license includes commercial use of copyright-protected work.

Understanding Your Privacy Rights


Although terms of service contracts may be a bit confusing and hard to digest, it is essential to know that any changes to the social media platform's terms of service must be easy to understand for its users. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has enforced actions against Google and Facebook for "unfair and deceptive" practices in how these giant companies provided their users notice on how their personal data are handled on a daily basis. This means you can relax knowing that the FTC has your back. 


However, don’t get too excited just yet. Courts have yet to assign any value to privacy rights. However, recent legislative changes are quickly shifting the conduct of social media platforms. While Europe's General Data Protection Regulation does not directly impact privacy protection for people in the United States, it has inspired the state of California to take some action. The requirements that mirror some of Europe's changes include – clear notice and consent requirements for the use of personal data, along with restrictions on how the personal data of social media platform users are handled.


So, what's the deal with TikTok?


TikTok has been in the news recently for its fine print within its terms of service that nobody reads. 


Here is a snippet from their privacy policy for your reference:


Device Information

We collect certain information about the device you use to access the Platform, such as your IP address, user agent, mobile carrier, time zone settings, identifiers for advertising purposes, model of your device, the device system, network type, device IDs, your screen resolution and operating system, app and file names and types, keystroke patterns or rhythms, battery state, audio settings, and connected audio devices. Where you log in from multiple devices, we will be able to use your profile information to identify your activity across devices. We may also associate you with information collected from devices other than those you use to log in to the Platform.


In short, the concern with TikTok is legitimate, and it would be a good idea to look through their privacy policy fully during your downtime. Better yet, give us a call and ask us about true mobile security for your devices. 


Can TikTok access your camera even if the app is closed?


Although this still remains under debate, we are now aware that TikTok has full access to the audio, video, and address book on any given device while the app is open. While it isn’t surprising since TikTok is an audio-visual application, what is rather shocking is the GPS tracking mentioned in their privacy policy. This is especially surprising because TikTok videos don’t inherently display location information for other users to see. In conclusion, TikTok should be treated with caution, just like any other social media platform. Always remember that whatever you record will be seen by others whether you like it or not. 


Protect Your Rights and Intellectual Property


Social media has become a much-integrated part of both our personal and professional lives. Learning how to stay safe while posting on social media is especially important with the increasing amount of integrated payment systems, apps, phone verification, and touchless technology. Here are some best practices to stay safe while using your favorite social applications.


  1. Adjust your privacy settings.
  2. Be cautious of sharing too much personal information.
  3. Verify who you are connecting with.
  4. Use strong passwords (mix these up for each of your social media accounts).
  5. Click links with caution.  
  6. Become familiar with the privacy policies of the social media platforms you use on daily basis.


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