Cryptocurrency mining, the process of providing book keeping services to crypto currency networks in exchange for payment has moved from PC’s to warehouses of dedicated ASIC computing devices. A new approach is to distribute the processing over thousands of unsuspecting web users:

A new report suggests hundreds of websites have taken The Pirate Bay’s lead and are now using visitor PCs to mine cryptocurrency without the consent of users.


A month or so ago, torrent search website The Pirate Bay raised concern among the community as visitors noticed their CPU usage surged whenever a page was opened.


At first, some worried that malvertising or embedded malware was at play; however, when the domain’s operators¬†realized the game was up, they admitted the power surge was due to a “small experiment” in cryptocurrency mining.


Cryptocurrency, such as Bitcoin or Monero can be “mined” and acquired through computational power. If enough PC owners donate power, then mining can be a way to rake in revenue.


In The Pirate Bay’s case, the website’s operators were experimenting with a mining script from CoinHive which hunted for Monero. The trial was explained as a potential way for the website to run for free, without needing to rely on adverts.


It seems this idea has now taken root in other websites, too.


According to a new report from Adguard, in a matter of weeks, 2.2 percent of the top 100,000 websites on the Alexa list are now mining through user PCs.


In total, 220 sites that launch mining when a user opens their main page, with an aggregated audience of 500 million people.

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