There have been reports of several websites that have taken over users computers and turned them into miners for cryptocurrency. This slows down the CPU of the computer by a significant amount, and could also use the users privacy against them.
Several users last month of the website ‘The Pirate Bay’ noticed that their CPU’s had increased in usage by an extreme amount. The problem had nothing to do with the illegal downloading they were doing from the website, but rather another illegal process from another end.
Users came to the realization that there was an outside source using their computers for the hijackers benefit. Upon digging into the computers, the users found that there was indeed malware that would take over the computers central processing unit, and use it to mine coins for the hijackers.
For those who don’t understand what mining is, it is the process behind acquiring cryptocurrency. Computers are used to solve increasingly difficult equations, and are then rewarded with the cryptocurrency they are mining. The more CPU power one has, the more coins they can mine in a quicker fashion, thus the desire to take over people’s computers.
Now, there are ways that companies can do this without it being illegal. A popular company called Coinhive has devised a way for websites to earn income without showing advertisements. That method being, using the users CPUs to help mine for coins. This can make a substantial amount of revenue, and can completely replace the need to run ads on a website.
Many of these sketchy websites have given cryptocurrency a bad name in the industry, but it is something that people should be excited about. Cryptocurrency has the potential to become the economy of the future and change the way we use money entirely, but only if it is put to good use.