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Browser-based cryptocurrency mining makes a suprising come back to haunt visitors.
Browser-based cryptocurrency mining activity has once again exploded in the last few months of 2017 and it is still climbing in 2018. After many years of silence, the convict appears to be the launch of a new browser-based mining service in September 2017 by Coinhive. This service generally wraps everything up nicely in an easy-to-use package for website owners and has injected new life into an idea that was long thought as lost.
As said before browser based cryptocurrency mining isn't something new; it's been around since at least 2011.
Mobile devices have not been spared from cryptocurrency mining, as witnessed by a 34 % increase in the number of mobile apps incorporating cryptocurrency mining code.
Browser-based mining, as its name suggests, is a method of cryptocurrency mining that happens inside a browser and is implemented using scripting language. This is different compared to the more widely known file-based cryptocurrency mining approach which involves downloading and running a dedicated executable file.
The website injected service generally allows itself to mine the crypto-currency Monerowithout the consent of users while users had the website opened in a browser tab. This illicit nature highlights the problem of not only unregulated cryptocurrencies but cryptocurrency mining as well.
Worse case scenario is that lesser known websites, such as user forums etc. are rapidly choosing this method to increase their revenue as site advertising doesn't seem to produce enough revenue. Due to the fact that the code is executed on the user's browsers without the consent of the user, the user literally have no control over the execution of the code. The impacts are not limited to the browsers, but it affects the whole machine as, many users today visit sites not only on their desktops, but whilst on the move on their phones, tablets and laptops, which generally means faster draining of their battery power as the CPU of their appliance is consuming power nearly at 100% rate (causing the systems and devices to produce more heat, which means more power consumption !!) As the code is executed on the user's browser, the problem is OS independent and it affects all systems (yes, Linux, you are no exception). SYMPTOMS:
Frankly, when I first ran into the problem, I realized that my CPU fan was working at fullspeed, whilst hot air was being exhausted out from the vents. At first glance I found it quite odd that a website was causing my CPU to work like crazy as first reaction is, it cannot be possible. But of course it can. When I looked at what is heating my proudly owned Linux-top I realized something odd:
In my next post I will explain about the solutions for the problem.