Websites are secretly using your PC to mine cryptocurrencies

Yes, there are more than 36,000 websites which are using a tool named Coinhive to mine cryptocurrencies from your PC. Every time you visit these sites, these websites use your CPU to mine a cryptocurrency named Monero. And moreover, your consent and permission are not even taken into consideration.

What is mining?

To explain in simple terms, mining is the process of validating every transaction carried out with a cryptocurrency to create a new block in the blockchain. In return, the miner who validated the transaction gets a small reward in the form of that particular cryptocurrency.

Everytime a transaction takes place on the public ledger of the blockchain, it has to validated by someone in order to complete the transaction. Miners are the network nodes that carry out this task. And after a miner validates a transaction, then the miner circulate its copy all over the public ledger to all the other miners. This way one can avoid fraud in cryptocurrency transactions.

However, mining any crypto coin is not a simple task. In order to successfully create a block, it must be accompanied by a cryptographic hash that fulfills certain requirements. And the requirements for a miner to mine a single coin is too large. The hardware required is extremely costly, moreover, the system needs to be in running mode 24/7 accounting for high electricity consumption.

What is Monero?

Monero is one of the popular cryptocurrencies that is present today. Coinmarketcap has ranked it at 12th as of now. It is an open source cryptocurrency created in April 2014 that focuses on privacy and decentralization. It runs on Windows and other Operating Systems. Monero uses the public ledger and it too is created through the process of Mining. It aims to improve on the existing cryptocurrency system by making the mining process better. Monero is based on Cryptonight instead of SHA-2 and that could limit Monero’s network if the volume of transaction increases. It is possible to mine Monero using CPU.

The controversy

According to the latest news, the official website of Union Minister for Law and Justice, Information Technology of India, Ravi Shankar Prasad was mining cryptocurrency with the help of Coinhive. Coinhive is a popular javascript-based miner which people use to mine Monero. Also, apparently the mining was going on without the permission of the users who were visiting the website. It is likely a case of crypto jackers who target websites to hijack the website by inserting the Coinhive scripts in the website code.

Furthermore, there are some 36,000 websites online now which use a Coinhive code on their website to mine Monero. It means there are 36,000 websites live which are using our CPUs to mine the cryptocurrency. We tried to get into the roots of the situation and came across some facts. We tried to check the installed plugins on the respective websites and we got the results.

This is the snippet of the tools that a website named perfectlytimedphotos use. You can check the result for yourself on the website

prefectlytimedphotos using Coinhive

prefectlytimedphotos using Coinhive

Another website named traveltune also uses the same tool. You can check the result on the website

traveltune using Coinhive

traveltune using Coinhive

One more website we checked was hiphopdx. Its result can also be checked on the website here.

hiphopdx using Coinhive

hiphopdx using Coinhive

These and many more such websites like medixselect, redorbit and askives use Coinhive in order to mine Monero. And what is even more infuriating is that they do this without the user’s consent and permission.

When there are strict actions taken against cryptocurrencies and lots or harsh words are used publicly for its regulation. How fair is it for so many websites to use such tools to mine cryptocurrencies?

Comment down below what are your opinions on this.

Check next article to know how to block cryptocurrency mining from your computer.


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