‘Cryptojacking’ has become very popular lately. Many websites, including the renowned site ‘The Pirate Bay’, are monetizing their content by secretly mining cryptocurrency using the processing power of visitors’ devices.
But now the browser Opera has made a move to protect users from these tactics.
After adding a cryptocurrency mining blocker on the desktop version of the web browser earlier this month, Opera today announced that it is extending support to its mobile browsers. This means that the browser will block all cryptocurrency mining scripts pushed by websites by default.
Opera’s VP Product Marketing Jan Standal said: “When you browse the web, there are no visual clues that your device is exposed to mining. A single webpage you visit can take up to 4.5 hours of your battery time, if you keep the tab open. This often turns out to be just the battery time you needed to use a ride-hailing app or check the map to get home.”
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According to many reports, as many as 3 million websites today are mining cryptocurrencies using their visitors’ device processors, and Monero is one of the most mined coins, as the privacy coin’s blockchain is designed to use the optimal processing power of devices.
Such mining activity reduces the lifetime of devices significantly, as the battery heats up very quickly because of the fully-utilized, power-hungry processor. The battery on mobile devices will also quickly swell up, resulting in permanent damage.
There are many add-ons and plugins available for blocking such mining scripts for popular web-browsers like Firefox and Chrome, but none of them have this feature integrated by default. Moreover, most of them do not support any third-party plugins on their mobile version, so mobile devices are really vulnerable to cryptojacking.
With this new feature on both its web and mobile browser, Opera is really advancing ahead in consumer protection.