Popular Web Browser Firefox to Start Blocking Cryptojacking Malware

  • Firefox is set to start blocking cryptocurrency mining malware
  • The moves comes as the browser attempts to "give users a voice" when browsing the web.

Firefox, one of the world’s most popular web browsers, is set to start blocking cryptojacking malware by default in order to improve user experience and enhance its performance, in an anti-tracking initiative.

Through a blog post, the organization behind the open-source browser revealed it plans on blocking trackers and other harmful practices to “give users a voice.” Some of its new features, per the blog post, are already available in its Firefox Nightly beta version.

The post, written by Mozilla’s vice president of product Nick Nguyen, details Firefox will mitigate deceptive practices that include fingerprinting users – a technique used to “invisibly identify users by their device properties” and cryptojacking. It reads:

Other sites have deployed cryptomining 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.

Cryptojacking essentially consists of websites adding scripts to their code that let them use their visitors’ CPU resources to mine cryptocurrencies. While some websites ask users to use their CPUs instead of showing them ads, most use them without letting users know.

These scripts often ruin browsing experiences and can physically damage devices if they overheat. Over the past few months cryptojacking became a popular trend, as McAfee labs revealed cryptojacking malware cases increased by 629% in the first quarter of this year.

A study commissioned by Citrix and executed by OnePoll earlier this month revealed that 59% of businesses in the UK have, at some point, been hit with cryptojacking attacks. The trend grew so much that the Uk National Cyber Security Center revealed it is seen as a “significant” threat.

Firefox’s features are set to be tested on its Firefox Nightly beta version, and will be rolled out to a stable Firefox release by default if the company’s approach “performs well.” Firefox is notably one of various browser developers blocking cryptojacking malware and addressing the cryptocurrency space.

As CryptoGlobe covered Google has recently removed cryptocurrency mining apps from its Play Store, months after removing extensions from Chrome’s web store. Despite the tech giant’s move, several crypto mining apps were still on its app store after the ban.

Opera, a browser that recently introduced a mobile browser for Android with a built-in crypto wallet, rolled out mining script protection for its mobile users in January of this year. The feature was already featured on its desktop version by default. Notably, Opera is set to add its built-in cryptocurrency wallet to its desktop browser.

The Brave browser, founded by JavaScript creator and Mozilla co-founder Brendan Eich, also blocks trackers and cryptocurrency mining malware by default. Brave, as covered, recently surpassed 10 million downloads on Google’s Play store.

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How One Cryptocurrency Mining Software Application Is Streamlining Revenue for Esports Cafes Across Asia

Esport cafés have skyrocketed in popularity in recent years, becoming a top destination for many enthusiastic gamers and keen internet explorers throughout Asian cities.

The dingy internet cafes of the past have long been replaced with shiny new, high-tech 24-hour establishments that cater to a gamer’s every need. Want to eat? Want to drink? Want to try out the latest games on a powerful computing system for the low price of $2 per hour? These businesses are plugging a major gap in the gaming market that’s been created by the high price of CPUs and GPUs.

As Asia’s esport scene continues to grow, these esport cafes have reaped the benefits of the increased exposure and heightened demand. Despite the booming nature of the industry, however, these companies still experience the same lunchtime lulls and 2am crashes that all 24-hour businesses are familiar with.

In response to this, Cudo Miner, the cryptocurrency mining software application, has expanded into the esport café industry to supply a constant revenue stream for these cafes, even during their quietest periods.  

Now working with one of Malaysia’s largest gaming café franchises, Cudo Miner allows café owner to mine cryptocurrency using their existing computers’ processing power when the systems are idle, going to sleep when the machines are in use. By working with Cudo Miner to mine cryptocurrency, the Malaysian franchise has increased its profits without any further investment.

Jun, the Malaysian franchise owner, said:

The last thing we wanted during peak times was our systems slowing down and anything getting in the way of our customers enjoying their time with us. Cudo Miner couldn’t have worked better. It’s given us a very welcome stream of extra income, takes very little maintenance, and just quietly gets on with its work, without getting in the way.

The key based device authentication is now available to other cyber cafes too, as Cudo Miner continues to evolve and explore new markets. For top end gaming systems, estimate financial returns are as much as $30-40 per month per PC, and even lower spec gaming systems can expect to bring in $11-15 per month. All of this being extra revenue from existing resources, that can be set up and left, with no extra time or financial investment required – a win-win for esport café franchises.

Matt Hawkins, CEO if Cudo Ventures said: “When Jun approached us to say that our mining software beat the competition, we were excited to receive that validation. Esports is a million-dollar industry with millions of fans worldwide and gaming cafes are being set up all over the world. It’s an exciting and flourishing industry, but an expensive business to be in, with hardware and real estate costs.

An unused terminal costs. Mining on computers that are not in use is a great way to help increase revenue and it’s great to see our software delivering this.”