Crypto mining has become a nuisance for PC owners around the world. Known as one of the most power-hungry processes in the world, mining for these currencies demands a large number of computers, super-powerful graphics card and consistent, never ending sources of power. Crypto farms also produce a lot of heat because of which they demand lots of extra power for keeping the buildings cool. If not, they could lead to fire hazards and even contribute to changing the temperature of an area to dangerously high levels.
Aren’t crypto farms unsustainable?
Of course, they are. Maintaining a crypto farm is a very difficult activity which demand consistent capital flows, highly efficient power management and several hundred graphics chips that burn out more quickly that one could expect. However, mining is also a very profitable business. In 2017, the price of one Bitcoin was close to $2,500. After this, it started rising slowly and reached the $20,000 mark by December. In June 2018, the prices are hovering at $6,400 level.
Even though prices went through an uncontrolled rise and then fell flat on their face, a crypto miner is generating value equal to $6,400 by mining one coin. He is getting some mining rewards which could be worth thousands of dollars today. If prices increase any further, they could be earning much more. This is the reason why miners continue their operations, even after the troubles they face.
Hackers find a golden opportunity
As mining is still a profitable business, hackers are entering the game and creating a problem for everyone. They don’t want to invest in capital intensive mining methods. So they find an easier way out. Instead of buying or renting one super-powerful mining system, they hack into hundreds of thousands of PCs and mobile devices and use their processing power to run their system. They are basically using your computer’s power for free.
Here is how to know if you are the target of a hack.
Open the Task Manager in Windows or Activity Monitor in Mac. Check which processes are running on your PC and find out the CPU usage too.
In general, the CPU usage remains somewhere around 20 percent, even with several background processes in work because they are not designed to harness your computer’s power for intensive mining. If you find that the usage is unusually high, check the activity and find if any unknown processes are running. If using a webpage makes your activity spike, it could likely be hosting miners. Similarly, if using an app spikes activity, you can detect troubles.
Note that your PC will become unusually slow and may also heat up very frequently. This is a clear indication that something is wrong.
These hacks can be installed through websites you visit or software you download on your devices and it is impossible to detect whether an app or software or website is using your system for their ulterior motives. Sometimes, when the cybercriminals can’t create websites that gain thousands of followers, they hack into popular websites, using their traffic to make ends meet.