Last week we had reported on how Songs.pk, a website notorious for hosting pirated content is using Crypto Miners. The website used Json mining script and this eventually ended up being a burden on the user’s machine. The Songs.pk instance seems to be the tip of the iceberg. With Crypto Miners readily available a considerable number of websites are deploying the same to increase their revenue. The makers of Opera browser seem to have noted this problem and are all set to include a feature to block mining scripts on sites automatically.
The Crypto Mining method is currently being abused by many sites and none of them asks users for consent. In fact, the Crypto Mining service providers advertise their products as ones that “cannot be detected.” Needless to say, the mining process usually has a detrimental effect on the user’s machine and since most of the sites don’t limit the resource usage the effect is only magnified.
The worst part about this stealth crypto mining is that some of the sites retain the mining operation even when you exit the site or even the browser! Most of the Crypto Mining scripts are difficult to spot by the users and usually end up spiking the users CPU load to up to 100%. As per Malwarebytes, sites usually use a popunder that sits smugly under the taskbar and thus would go unnoticed by the users.
Starting with Opera 50 the browser will come with anti-crypto mining support and will work in tandem with the ad-blocking feature. The anti-crypto mining is called “NoCoin” feature and can be found under the “Recommended List.” On the flipside, it is sad to see how the mining could have actually shaped up as a legit way of earning for webmasters and site owners instead the abuse is shrinking its potential. It would be interesting to see how sites will workaround this and implement a better policy for site owners and the users as well.