How to Stop Cryptojacking From Hurting Your Online Customer Experience
April 18, 2018
by Ohad Greenshpan
Depending on which side of the bitcoin (pun intended) you’re on, the rapidly developing cryptocurrency phenomenon poses many issues and opportunities for consumers and businesses alike. But the use of crypto mining malware to fuel this technology is also spreading rapidly — and it could be currently hurting your carefully constructed online customer experience as we speak.
Cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Monero can be acquired, or “mined” by having PC owners “donate” computing power and resources. In recent months, reports have grown of hackers injecting cryptocurrency mining scripts into online advertising platforms to generate revenue.
Undoubtedly, hackers see this potential — and have already started tapping into it by injecting widely-used Coinhive code into high-traffic sites such as the AOL advertising network and its MSN.com homepage, the default page for Microsoft’s browser.
Why should eCommerce businesses care about Cryptojacking? A poor online experience equals lost customers.
Cryptojacking malware frequently takes up a significant portion of the user’s processing power, locks up their browser, and drains their battery. For infected desktop and mobile users, this results in a lag in performance and site responsiveness when browsing online. That, in turn, creates an unwelcome user-side problem for online retailers and eCommerce businesses.
Online shoppers frustrated by a laggy, poor-functioning site are not going try and decipher who’s responsible — they’re just going to bounce. This suboptimal experience in the eyes of site visitors negatively impacts both your brand perception and engagement.
According to statistics compiled by usability consulting firm Expert Dynamics from industry leaders including Adobe, Quick Sprout, and Google, 52% of mobile online users say a bad mobile experience makes them less likely to engage with a company.
User experience and site responsiveness are staple requirements for online businesses. eCommerce teams know all-too-well the damage caused to their sales funnel when such basic must-haves are compromised: increased bounce and abandonment rates, decreased conversions, and longer-term consequences to customer lifetime value (CLV).
The financial motivation fueling cryptocurrency mining means you should expect it to continue to grow in the foreseeable future, and consequently interfere with your customers’ online experience.
Consumer-side security: The key to protecting your online customer experience
Online businesses should not view cryptojacking as an isolated phenomenon. User-side ad injections are also a fast-growing problem that disrupt site traffic and skim online revenue. Technology that can both reach and protect your customers’ browsers is therefore key to preventing these threats and protecting your online experience.
Regularly analyzing millions of web sessions from the server to the consumer browser, Namogoo’s Machine Learning technology was developed to detect and block invasive malicious content injected into consumer browsers that bypass server-side visibility and control. This approach has allowed us to uncover and prevent another form of hijacking targeting end users which was previously undiscovered — Online Journey Hijacking.
The underlying foundations behind this technology are also key to detecting crypto mining software. Namogoo detects this code in two main ways:
1) Identifying the underlying indicators of cryptojacking
2) Detecting cryptojacking code
Namogoo’s technology uses static code analysis methods to analyze portions of code including function names, variable names, DOM objects and other indicators of crypto mining activity.
Below is a screenshot example of a code snippet captured by our data science team:
By detecting and blocking cryptojacking software Namogoo ensures an optimal experience.
Similar to how Namogoo’s consumer side technology prevents Online Journey Hijacking, this approach also enables you to stop cryptojacking from harming your customer experience, too. Namogoo’s technology detects such activity and prevents it from running on the session.
So while you can expect cryptojacking activity to continue to rise, the good news is that the way to solve this problem already exists. By preventing in-browser cryptojacking from messing with your online experience, you can help make sure your customers get the optimal experience they were meant to receive.