Crypto jacking has been a consistent problem for the digital assets world over the past couple of years.
For those of you not familiar with the term, crypto jacking is a type of malware that enables a hacker to take control of your computing power to mine cryptocurrency.
Sometimes this is done via software. For instance, you may download an extension to your chrome browser, and it has code within it that can be used to mine cryptocurrencies.
More common are websites which, when you access them, do the same thing. That means you browse through a certain webpage or several web pages, and, as you do so, someone is using your computing power to mine digital assets.
In both cases, it’s not apparent to the user that you are being ‘crypto jacked.’ A computer may be slower, but otherwise, it will function as usual.
The scale of the problem varies amongst different cryptocurrencies, but the worst affected appears to be Monero.
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According to a report by HackRead, five percent of all Monero holdings, worth approximately $100 million, were obtained via crypto jacking.
Mozilla defends, Coinhive falls
But things may be about to get harder for hackers trying to steal CPU power.
For one thing, browser operator Mozilla is going to be launching a service specifically designed to prevent hacks from taking place.
On top of that, the company which was responsible for providing crypto jacking solutions is also planning on shutting down.
Coinhive is thought to have supplied its services to 33,000 different websites and firms. Users of a Starbucks public wifi in Argentina, for instance, were having their CPU power stolen by a Coinhive service.
A month ago the company announced that it would be shutting down, saying harder mining conditions and the collapse in the value of Monero meant its business model was not economically viable.