Posting here for more visibility – you may have a clever little Crypto-miner running on your PC and not even know it.
Do any of these symptoms sound familiar?
- Low gaming or PC performance?
- Sluggish Windows performance?
- PC has stopped going to sleep when idle?
- CPU temps are too hot?
If so, you may have some Cryptocurrency mining Malware on your PC.
This happened to me a couple years ago, I'm very tech savvy and don't usually have PC problems. Anything that goes wrong hardware I can fix and on the rare occurrence I get a software problem a quick bit of Google-Fu is all I need to get back on track. However, this one stumped me.
I noticed my PC wasn't sleeping any more. I'd leave it idle and when I came back hours later, it wasn't off. I usually set it to turn off after 30 minutes, but it would stay on, sometimes all night etc. I also noticed that my process was not running at it's Idle clockspeed (FYI, your processor runs slower when it's not doing anything to save power) and finally, I noticed using HWMonitor that my CPU temps should be at about 40c at idle, were instead about 60-70c!
I looked through Task Manager to identify if there were any strange looking .exe's and after googling all the application names I did not immediately recognise, I thought to download MalwareBytes and run a scan.
Straight away it identified I had a cryptocurrency miner on my PC, and this is the part that impresses me, it actually de-activated itself if I went into Task Manager, then re-activated itself when I left. Clever girl.
Some quick googling told me it was a Monero Crypto miner malware. God knows how it got on my PC, probably a drive by from a dodgy Crypto newsfeed website. I don't make a habit of downloading and running strange programs nor opening emails I don't trust, so I'm a bit stumped how it got there, but it was running for weeks! Think of all that Monero I mined! The bastards.
Anyway, MalwareBytes is free to download and use, it will probably pester you to buy it so there's no harm in downloading it, checking your PC and then uninstalling it.
Hopefully this helps someone out.