During the RSA Conference 2018, digital security company Avast will be teaching users about the dangers of cryptojacking and crypto-mining malware. The company aims to bring more awareness on the issue and protect user data from being compromised.
The company is conducting an experiment at the conference where attendees are asked to mine Monero using their smartphones in a crypto-mining challenge.
Last month, Avast conducted a study involving around 2,300 computer users in the US. They found that the public was not truly aware of how cryptojacking could actually affect them, usually having alarming misconceptions on the topic.
2 in 5 people were not aware of the existence of cryptojacking malware.
25% of the research participants did not even understand what cryptocurrencies are.
According to their study, 47% of the participants are not afraid of cryptojacking malware, 13% of which don’t believe cryptojackers can steal data or spy on them.
19% of the participants think that cryptojackers only affect crypto owners or miners.
Avast EVP Ondrej Vlcek stressed that PC users aren’t the only ones vulnerable to cryptojacking. Crypto mining malware can be run on various Internet of Things (IoT) devices and smartphones:
“IoT devices and smartphones are just as easlily hijacked and turned into cryptomining machines–and it doesn’t matter if you own cryptocurrecy or not.”
Crypto mining malware can run in the background of any infected device without notice. They make money for criminals at users’ expense. Cryptojacking victims experience high power bills and slow and laggy device performance. The lifespan of their devices may even be shortened.
What’s worse is that cryptojacking can pose threats to users’ data privacy, too. Avast and other digital security companies are upping up their game to offer greater security against these threats.