Published in El Pais, March 3rd 2020.
I have written about cryptocurrency in the past and while I think it can be a gamechanger I realize it is not for everyone. However, this part of the crypto world you must familiar yourself with as it has a high chance of impacting you. What I am referring to is called cryptojacking.
Before I go into what it is, I should briefly remind you about mining cryptocurrency. Many cryptocurrencies need to be digitally mined through computers and while it is technically possible for any computer to do this only powerful computers will have a chance of mining the digital coins. What you could do to increase your odds is have thousands of computers mining for you and thanks to this malware you do not need to purchase these devices.
This program secretly installs mining software onto your computer that will run without your knowledge. Individually you will not contribute much but collectively with the other infected computers the creator of the malware stands to make a lot of money. The downside for you is that the software can greatly affect the performance of your computer as mining takes a lot of power and if your computer is not up to the task can even cause permanent damage so the consequence of being infected can be severe.
The good news is that like other viruses and software most can be detected easily through an anti virus program, even the free ones can do a reasonable job of spotting them. It is easy to forget but it is important to do regular scans on your computer and if you notice it going slower than normal or it is easily overheating you may be infected and it is time for another scan.