Mozilla, the developer of Mozilla Firefox, a leading web browser announced yesterday that all future versions of its browser would block cryptojacking applications like Coinhive. When installed, such applications use your computer’s processor and use it to mine virtual currencies. This move by Mozilla seeks to prevent the theft of computing power, which leaves victims with high power bills and slow computers. The upgrade would also block ‘fingerprinting’ scripts.
In an official statement, Mozilla said,
In collaboration with Disconnect, we have compiled lists of domains that serve fingerprinting and crypto-mining scripts,
Now in the latest Firefox Nightly and Beta versions, we give users the option to block both kinds of scripts as part of our Content Blocking suite of protections.
While the current versions of Firefox Nightly and Beta have both fingerprinting and cryptojacking blocks, the features are disabled by default. This means that a user would have to choose whether to activate them or not.
Mozilla also announced that the future versions of the browser would come with the functions enabled. According to the firm, this would enhance user protection. The firm stated,
Once enabled, Firefox will block any scripts that have been identified by Disconnect to participate in crypto-mining or fingerprinting.
Google banned all cryptojacking extensions from its web store
Chrome’s engineer, Ojan Vafai stated that the firm sought to fix the problem of introducing crypto miners without informing the browser’s users. The engineer said that the best option would be blocking the extensions by default. He also said that Google was working on a feature that would force computers into energy saving mode if a website uses its CPU for a fixed time or percentage. In so doing, the battery saver mode would stop all activities that run in the background.
Cryptojacking increased after the 2017 crypto rally
After bitcoin and altcoins rose to reach unseen levels at the end of 2017, the number of crimes in the crypto industry also shot up. According to reports, criminals stole more than $1.7 billion from the crypto sector last year alone. These attackers stole money from investors and exchanges. Sadly, that is not the only crime in the crypto world as bad actors have found other ways to make the lives of crypto users difficult. There was also an increase in the number of ransomware attacks with hackers demanding payments in virtual currencies.
Recent Research by IBM X-force revealed that while the above activities are common in the crypto industry, cryptojacking was spreading like wild fire. IBM X-force found that cryptojacking had increased by 450 percent over the past year.
Possible signs that show your computer is infected with crypto mining malware
- An increase in the usage of your computer’s processor
- Unusually slow response times
Do you think Mozilla Firefox will be successful in combating cryptojacking? Let us know in the comments section below.