Coinjacking Hits Almost 1 Billion Visitors Per Month On Four Popular Streaming Sites
Andrey Meshkov, Co-Founder of AdGuard, found four very large streaming websites with CoinHive's script, mining Monero from roughly a billion visitors per month.
Digital mining has allowed people to get their hands on cryptocurrencies in creative ways. Some join mining pools, others directly purchase it and wait for its value to appreciate.
And then there are those who let their visitors mine cryptocurrencies for them without their knowledge.
CoinHive, a provider of client-side scripts that allow websites to use their visitors’ CPUs to mine Monero, is now being used on popular film streaming sites visited by hundreds of millions of people every month, according to Andrey Meshkov, Co-Founder of AdGuard.
In his findings, he shows that four popular streaming sites with around 992 million visitors per month are using the script, potentially making $326,124 in that period.
Streaming websites are probably the most profitable place to put coinjacking — or, as others call it, “cryptojacking” — scripts, since visitors usually stay much longer on these pages to watch their films.
“Three of the four sites provide the function of media players that are embedded on third-party sites. We doubt that all the owners of these sites are aware that the hidden mining has been built in to these players,” Meshkov wrote.
His blog confirms that all four sites have the mining script implemented In pages where their users would theoretically spend a significant amount of their time.
The sites in question are Openload, Streamango, Rapid Video, and Online Video Converter.
A brief look at each site’s code reveals that the mining scripts on both Openload and Streamango are identical. The other two sites have their own scripts with their own variables implemented.
At the beginning of last month, UFC’s official website had a mining script on it, presumably testing this as a new revenue stream, despite the fact that its users already pay to view the available content.
We can expect the coinjacking phenomenon to continue to grow over the next year as ad blocker developers and scripters play a continuous “cat and mouse” game. One will attempt to reduce the impact of the phenomenon while the other attempts to amplify it.