With bitcoin reaching new heights this month, investors are getting more involved with the digital token. However, an increased interest in virtual token mining means a higher rate of criminal related activities and security experts have observed a rise in computer hacking activities aimed at crypto mining.
To tackle this issue, the popular internet browser, Opera, is introducing an anti-mining feature in its 'Opera 50' version. The new feature, called “NoCoin”, will work similar to an AdBlocker. Just as an AdBlocker blocks advertisements from a web page, NoCoin will block suspicious scripts.
Web pages with existing crypto mining scripts use the power of an unaware user’s computer to mine coins for the hacker. This is what experts call “crypto jacking.” Bitcoin mining takes up a massive amount of computing power to solve highly complex calculations. As a reward, miners earn bitcoins.
Using someone’s home computer for 'crypto jacking' slows down the victim’s computer. “Your CPU suddenly working at 100 percent capacity, the fan is going crazy for seemingly no reason and your battery quickly depleting might all be signs that someone is using your computer to mine for digital token,” Opera explained in a blog post.
The post detailed that sometimes digital token mining continues even after the user has closed the relevant website. Opera browser’s integrated blocker claims to protect users against this and keeps hackers from trespassing into users’ machines.
Crypto jacking is not rare
Considering the rate at which bitcoin and other digital tokens are rising, such activities are not surprising. This is certainly not the first time hackers have utilized another computer’s power for mining digital coins.
Earlier this month, security experts discovered a case where hackers were infecting Facebook Messenger with malware that mined tokens. This was particularly aimed at mining Monero, an open-source token created in 2014. Hackers could even access the victims’ entire personal Facebook account, including their friends list.
Opera’s NoCoin will come as an integrated feature of its built-in AdBlocker software. To enable the blocker, users will simply have to check the NoCoin box in settings menu. This new feature is certainly an impressive one and can possibly result in an increase in the browser’s popularity.
The fact that a major browser felt the need to offer a built-in protection against unauthorized intrusion is a reminder for users. Users must realize that regardless of which browser they use, they must adopt required measures to guard their systems.