Internet dangers and their types are evolving rapidly; while we are still trying hard to fight with malware, a new tricky threat called “cryptojacking” joins the list. Yes, Cryptojacking is a new tactic used by the bad guys; the process involves using the CPU of your laptop or mobile device secretly to mine cryptocurrency when a user visits an infected site. We have already taken a look at some Chrome & Firefox extensions that will block websites from using your CPU to mine Cryptocurrency. Today we will take a look at Anti-WebMiner for Windows, a free software that will stop all mining scripts and protect you against cryptojacking.
What is Cryptojacking
Cryptojacking is a new trick used to mine Cryptocurrencies on a user’s computer using their CPU resources in the background without their knowledge. Typically, the cybercriminal loads a script into the victim’s web browser, which contains a unique site key to force the user to enrich them.
The cryptominer tools don’t harm the computer nor do they store anything on the hard drive. Hence they do not ‘technically’ fall into the malware category – more appropriately, they are referred to as “Greyware”. But I still look at it as malware as it uses your resources without your permission! They can cause the PC and browsers to work extremely slow, drain the battery of a notebook/laptop battery and raise electricity bills for the victim, without his or her knowledge.
Anti-WebMiner for Windows
Anti-WebMiner is a free program for Microsoft Windows devices. It is an open source software, which is licensed under Apache 2.0. It works with Windows 10/8/7/Vista/XP, 32-bit, and 64-bit computers.
Protection against Web Mining Scripts
Mining scripts are JS scripts like the one Coinhive executes in your web browser.This program can add safety to the system towards different internet mining scripts by modifying the Windows Hosts file further protecting the user against web cryptocurrency miners. This tool maintains a blacklist database and modifies the Windows hosts file for disabling connection attempts to the “blacklisted” sites.
Anti-WebMiner works for all browsers; hence there is no need to install browser extensions. The program also includes automatic updater which automatically updates the database of the blacklisted sites.
It has a very simple and user-friendly interface. Just install and open Anti-WebMiner, then click the Protect button. A portable version of the program is also available.
The developer of this program maintains a list of supported Hosts file on GitHub. You can visit this page to pick up new mining domains and changes to existing ones. Those who work on non-Windows devices can use the information available on this page to apply it to their systems to guard it against mining operations on the browser as well.
Anti-WebMiner contains an uninstall button which can be used to remove the host’s file entries to block web miners. Note the uninstall operation removes only those entries which the program added to the Hosts file. It does not alter the other entries. Also, this program allows the users to copy the entries directly to the Hosts file if they prefer.
You can download Anti-WebMiner from github.com.
Putting in simple words, the most important advantage of the software is that protects you against cryptojacking. Apart from that, it is simple and easy to use, especially for those who do not understand the concept of Host Files or those who do not wish to manipulate it.
Can antivirus detect cryptojacking?
In most cases, antivirus fails to detect cryptojacking on your computer. As it doesn’t keep any digital code on your computer, antivirus often fails to recognize the malicious file or cryptojacking. Whether you use the in-built security shield or third-party programs, you may end up getting the same negative result.
Can Windows Defender detect Bitcoin miner?
Yes, Windows Defender or Windows Security can detect Bitcoin miner tools on your computer. Although some people use them to mine Bitcoin, Windows Security can recognize it as a threat. On the other hand, third-party antivirus or anti-malware programs can also detect Bitcoin miners.