Crypto Mining is a new form of attacks by hackers who want to make money by mining digital currency with users PC resources. The news is spreading everywhere about the browser extensions, Android apps and websites are utilizing user’s computer resources to mine cryptocurrency.
These modern hackers and utilizing victim’s computer resources (like CPU, GPU, and Memory) to mine cryptocurrency by running scripts on user’s system. The medium to run these scripts might be smartphone apps, browser extensions or websites. In fact, we can’t completely stop browsing or visiting websites. However, we can take some secutirty mesaures to reduce crypto mining on browsers and stop cryptojacking, which has been exploiting your system resources and hardware.
What is Crypto Mining?
Cryptocurrency mining is the technique hitting the mainstream on the internet which has been growing in popularity within short time periods. Unlike normal money materials, cryptocurrency is a digital currency that uses no central authority. Instead, the cryptocurrencies like the Bitcoin depends on the global peer to peer networks for its value and verifications.
Crypto Mining is the operation of an advanced mathematical algorithm that using your system resources to mine (proof of work to authorize the currency) the digital money. The crypto miners can save electricity and system resources by effectively hacking users; system fro crypto mining without users’ knowledge.
Let us see the steps for preventing others to use your system resources to mine cryptocurrency for themselves. Usually, mining is done with the use of specific browsers that you use and we covered the very common browsers to block crypto mining on those.
How to Know if a Website is Mining Cryptocurrency?
Hackers can use several websites and PC Browsers to utilize for cryptocurrency mining. If you suspect any of the website or browser on your PC is being used for crypto mining, here the right place to move further. Before you stop cryptomining, you can confirm few thinsg. For any Windows-based on Mac laptop or desktop, there are some basic signs that point to these mining hacks. First and foremost, check the CPU usage of the browser. Most of the regular websites except online gaming websites, the CPU usage will be between 1%-10%. You can check the CPU Usage on Windows with Task Manager or the Resource Monitor and for Mac users, fire up the Activity Monitor.
Cryptocurrency mining malware is infected through websites. If there is an immediate spike of system CPU utilization takes place when opening a particular website, then consider this a real possibility. Most websites do not usually require such abnormally high resource utilization. As Cryptojacking involves some serious resource utilization, you should see an enormously high CPU usage if something’s up. Not only CPU, but you may see some spikes in consumption on the system GPU also. If you see any such suspicious behavior on your PC, then continue the following steps right away.
Stop Crypto Mining Manually in All Browsers
If you are using multiple browsers and aware of the website that is using your system resource to mine the digital currency, you can permanently block that website from your PC. For Windows users, to disable particular crypto mining domains as a whole, edit the host file to completely block those domains. For Windows users, go to C:\Windows\System32\drivers\etc
Now edit the hosts document file by right-clicking and opening in notepad (you may need admin access to edit this file). All you have to do is to add the lines
0.0.0.0 coin-hive.com in the end just like the above screenshot.
For Linux Users, open the terminal and enter the command
sudo nano /etc/hosts to edit the hosts file.
Add the lines add
0.0.0.0 coin-hive.com as the last line.
Please note that this only prevents mining from the popular known coin hive domains. Similarly, If you want to block other known crypto mining domains, you must manually add them to the host file.
Block Crypto Mining on Google Chrome
Google Chrome developers are currently investigating this problem and are trying out solutions. In the meantime, we can use some useful extensions to block crypto mining in Google Chrome. This activity is known as Cryptojacking. AdBlockers are the first things that hit your thoughts when such topics arise. Even though we can highly anticipate that these plugins and extensions make your browsing experience much more elegant, they might not be the perfect solution for these Crypto Mining problems.
As we know, Crypto mining is done with the help of some unique scripts that continue to run on your system. Specialised Google Chrome Browser extensions and General security malware software can do the job pretty well. Recently, a Google Chrome extension called Archive Poster which is associated with the tumbler users have been found to be containing programs those are performing attacks on the users. So make sure to download and use extensions carefully. The said extension was later brought down by Google.
No Coin Extension for Google Chrome
No Coin Extension in the Google Chrome browser is effectively used for stopping crypto miners like Coinhive. This can prevent system and the power supply to be used by unknown Crypto miners.
Download for Google Chrome:No Coin
minerBlock Extension For Google Chrome
minerBlock is yet another Extension that is available to Google Chrome that offers browser protection from crypto jacking. The extension uses two different approaches to block miners. One, which is the traditional way of blocking requests/scripts loaded from a blacklist used by standard Adblock and miner blockers.
The second method is by detecting potential mining behavior inside loaded scripts and killing it immediately. This approach which makes MinerBlock more efficient against crypto jacking through proxies.
Download for Google Chrome: minerBlock
Block Crypto Mining on Firefox
Firefox is another popular browser used all around the world. Extensions in Google Chrome usually come in the form of Add-ons in Firefox as well. The browser extension known as Image Previewer has been spotted to inject itself as an in-browser miner. So make sure you choose your extensions wisely.
NoScripts in Firefox
Download for FireFox: NoScript
No Coin Add-on for Firefox
Download for FireFox: No Coin
Block Crypto Mining on Opera
Opera Browser is loved by all users due to its tiny resource footprint and reduced bandwidth when browsing the web. In its latest browser improvement, Opera developers have now introduced new features to counter Crypto mining attempts. The new Mining blocking is integrated with the default AdBlock feature in the browser. The Crypto Mining feature is introduced in the Opera 50 stable release. No Coin filter is added to the browser can block mining services from the likes of Coin hive. The option is enabled by default when Ad Blocking is enabled.
To Enable Crypto mining blocking, Open the Opera browser and Go to, Settings > Preferences > Basic. Enable the Block ads option. Wait for a few seconds and you can see the recommended lists get populated with EasyList and NoCoin enabled by default.
Stop Crypto Mining on PC Browser
Crypto Jacking prevention is becoming a major concern in the current digital world. Furthermore, this can be attributed to the monetary gains of cryptocurrency mining in the present age. Due to its severe effects on your system by Cryptojacking, users are recommended to use these tips to prevent bitcoin mining using their systems. Also, using popular Security tools are a good way to stay secure from Cryptojacking.