Have you ever heard of cryptocurrency mining? If you’ve heard of Bitcoin, then you know of at least one cryptocurrency, but there are many more around the world (ex: Ethereum, Litecoin, or Ripple). In fact, there are some countries that have completely moved to an all cryptocurrency monetary system.
Cryptocurrency mining is a way to make money, by essentially providing “bookkeeping” services for coin networks. The “miner” gets paid in tiny fractions of bitcoins (or other cryptocurrency) over time. The problem is, the typical miner has to provide server hardware and pay for electricity in order to make any significant amounts of money.
So, how does this affect website security you ask!? In early December 2017, it was discovered that some hackers were gaining access to WordPress websites via “brute force” attacks, which means they are trying to guess username & passwords to gain access. If successful, they use that access to install software to use the server YOU ARE PAYING for as a slave server to build a cryptocurrency mining operation. By doing this, they have no server or electricity costs, and all the money they make goes to them.
You might not know this is going on, but if your website has frequent loading errors, such as a “Server 500” error, it might be the case that your server has been compromised and the CPU / Memory / Bandwidth is being used for cryptocurrency mining.
This is why it’s so important to have a good firewall installed with a solid security policy for passwords and logging into your website. In addition to security software, you need to keep all your other software updated on a regular basis, because your website is also vulnerable to security flaws through old software or plugins.
Need help? plumThumb offers affordable website maintenance packages that includes frequent security checks and reporting. Contact us today!