Opera Browser Can Now Stop Cryptojacking
Numerous websites have started hogging the processing power of their visitors’ CPUs for crypto-mining purposes. In fact, more than 2500 of the world’s most frequently visited websites are now running the popular Coinhive mining software on their visitors’ devices. This malicious activity is considered to be a cyber security threat and is called “cryptojacking”. It is carried out by programmed scripts that consume a device’s resources, like a parasite, in order to mine cryptocurrencies for the website’s owner. Often times, these scripts are added to the website by hackers or rogue employees without the webmaster’s concent. When these scripts take over a device, they tend to slow it down considerably, draining the CPU’s power and electricity. In response to this, the Opera browser has introduced a new feature that stops mobile devices from being used to mine cryptocurrencies.
Crypto-Mining Blocker Seems Easy to Use
Opera first added what they call a crypto-mining blocker to the desktop versions of their browser. Given that the majority of people now access the internet using mobile phones, smartphones running the Opera browser will also be able to prevent cryptojacking. Users can easily turn on this security feature by enabling the Ad blocker. By default, this is supposed to prevent crypto-mining by outside parties. In case you’re wondering if your device is being used for crypto-mining, you can easily check by running a cryptojacking test offered by Opera.
Cryptojacking is Hard to Detect & Damaging
Jan Standal, VP Product Marketing and Communications at Opera, stated, “When you browse the web, there are no visual clues that your device is exposed to mining”. He then gives an example of a tab on your browser being unintentionally left open leading to the unwanted consumption of a significant amount of battery life. This battery power could have been used to accomplish plenty of other useful tasks, of course.
This type of crypto-mining software will also overheat the battery of devices due to the extreme burden it puts on CPUs. As a result, devices might become unusable pretty quickly.
Trying to Become More Competitive
Google’s Chrome browser, Firefox and Microsoft’s Internet Explorer are the most popular browsers, considering that they account for over 80% of the browser market share. However, if you want to run an anti-mining tool on them, you’ll have to download and install some extensions. With the Opera browser, the anti-mining feature is now embedded into its standard installation file. This might seem like a relatively small advantage Opera might now have over its competitors, but it just might help the company attract some more users.