How To Stop Sites From Harvesting Cryptocurrency From You

How To Stop Sites From Harvesting Cryptocurrency From You
Facebook may have decided that you shouldn’t see the news, but we think you deserve to be in the know with Lifehacker Australia’s content. To sign up for our daily newsletter covering the latest news, hacks and reviews, head HERE. For a running feed of all our stories, follow us on Twitter HERE. Or you can bookmark the Lifehacker Australia homepage to visit whenever you need a fix.

Your browser might be doing someone else’s dirty work behind your back, mining cryptocurrency for malicious individuals using your desktop or laptops to create the digital currency, which can potentially be exchanged for real cash. According to Wired, hackers have found a way to inject Javascript-based cryptocurrency mining software into compromised sites, borrowing your processing power (and slowing down your computer) to generate the cryptocurrency Monero.

Image credit: Andrew Burton/Getty

Luckily, there are some ways to stop the dirty tactic without resorting to staying off the Internet for good.

The process of browser-based cryptocurrency mining isn’t necessarily a bad thing and you can take part even if you don’t own a single piece of the digital currency. Originally, cryptocurrency mining company Coinhive created its browser-based mining software to help sites further monetise their content, and allow them to afford a reduction in the number of ads you see on their page.

All it takes is your approval to lend a negligible amount of your computer’s number-crunching processor power to the mining process for a short period of time. Unfortunately, hackers have now written similar mining software that continues to borrow CPU power without user consent, whether or not they use Coinhive’s browser-based mining tool. Constant mining from multiple sites could potentially slow down your machine.

If you’re worried about someone impacting your computer’s performance for personal gain, you can download and install the browser extension NoCoin, which disables cryptocurrency mining tools on sites you haven’t approved. NoCoin was made by developer Rafael Keradimas and helps to solve the issue of compromised sites abusing the potentially beneficial tactic of borrowing visitors’ computers to mine cryptocurrency and monetise content, all with their consent.

It’s available for Firefox, Google Chrome and Opera web browsers.

Your Browser Could Be Mining Cryptocurrency For a Stranger [WIRED]