Cryptojacking Threats May Be On The Way Out


Cryptojacking threats may be on the way out.

What happened?

Coinhive, which used computers to mine cryptocurrencies, is no more.

Cryptominers are generally associated with hacking, but used with permission, they provide a legitimate means for raising funds –

  • UNICEF used Coinhive to mine for donations, and other sites raised revenue via cryptominers instead of advertising.

After all, ads use up processing power, so why not mine instead?

Used without permission, mining is criminal and known as ‘cryptojacking’.

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When cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Monero climbed in value, hackers spread mining tools such as Coinhive via malware, hijacking computers to install scripts and use processing power.

As much as two-thirds of all cryptojacking was attributed to the service.

Coinhive said it no longer makes enough money, so it is shutting down.

That could be down to a fall in the value of Coinhive’s currency of choice, as well as attention from policing authorities.

How will it affect you? 

Coinhive shut on 8 March, but the service will continue to operate until the end of April to allow users to cash in their earnings.

For the rest of us, cryptojacking will continue to exist, but hopefully the demise of Coinhive will reduce the number of attacks.

Because cryptojacking spreads via malware, avoiding an infection requires following the standard security advice:

don’t click links from unknown origins, run reliable security software and keep Windows updated.

What do we think? 

Coinhive’s closure is welcome news for web users, given the security challenges raised by cryptojacking.

That said, the concept of lending out processing power for fundraising isn’t new, and we certainly need new ways to fund content online as advertising revenues continue to fall.

Cryptomining could have become a viable means of funding good causes, if only criminals hadn’t already found a way to abuse the technology.

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