Mozilla Firefox is the most recent web browser to launch an anti-crypto mining feature in its latest version.

Look, we know that the Internet can be unsafe. There are people out there whose sole mission in life is to make a quick buck at the expense of someone else as is the case with unauthorized cryptocurrency mining.

According to Interesting Engineering, these cybercriminals are relying more on in-browser techniques than on deploying ransomware attacks. They insert a malicious JavaScript on certain web pages and once these are opened, the sneaky mining can begin.

It’s not even just reserved for smaller websites. The highly popular online game, League of Legends, was a victim when a mining script was placed on their Philippines server.

This type of unauthorized mining is not only for criminals either. Russian scientists have even attempted to use state computers to mine Bitcoin.

Mozilla Firefox is the most recent web browser to launch an anti-crypto mining feature in its latest version.

Firefox and Opera Combat Unauthorized Crypto Mining

Mozilla Firefox aims to prevent this type of backdoor behavior by automatically blocking these cryptocurrency mining malware scripts. Nick Nguyen, Vice President of Product for Mozilla, said:

Sites have deployed crypto mining scripts that silently mine cryptocurrencies on the user’s device. Practices like these make the web a more hostile place to be. Future versions of Firefox will block these practices by default.

Opera started the year off by launching their new browser version complete with an integrated anti-Bitcoin mining tool. While initially launched for its desktop browser application, earlier this year saw the platform extend this to its mobile browsers as well. The company also recently launched a new built-in crypto wallet for PCs.

While perhaps not as devastating as a ransomware attack, this type of mining certainly has a negative side. Victims can experience a drastic drop in both CPU- and battery power. Jan Standal, who is the VP of Product Marketing at Opera, explained:

When you browse the web, there are no visual clues that your device is exposed to mining. A single webpage you visit can take up to 4.5 hours of your battery time if you keep the tab open. This often turns out to be just the battery time you needed to use a ride-hailing app or check the map to get home.

Drastic Increase

Trend Micro, a cybersecurity solutions provider, released a report stating that there has been a 96% increase in instances of cryptocurrency mining detections since last year. The scary part is that this growth is just for the first six months of this year compared to the whole of 2017.

Now definitely seems like the right time for Firefox to release their new version. After successful testing, users will be able to enjoy mine-free browsing once Firefox 63 is launched.

Have you ever been a victim of unauthorized crypto mining? Let us know in the comments below!

Images courtesy of Pixabay, Shutterstock

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