Users Unknowingly Donate CPUs for The Pirate Bay's Trial of Monero Mining

Nichole Vega
September 19, 2017

For instance, it is not just the Pirate Bay using other computers to mine monero, where reports indicate a botnet, known as 'Bond007.01, ' has been causing havoc in China and earned hackers around $25,000 per month.

The miner was noticed by Pirate Bay users who saw the noticeable spike in CPU usage while on the site - some of whom eventually discovered the Javascript running the virtual mining operation.

And this was happening without the user's knowledge, of course (unless the surfer in question happened to notice their CPU activity heading rapidly upwards).

Torrent news website Torrent Freak reported that the website is now testing a cryptocurrency miner on its website.

And that's exactly what Pirate Bay tried to do when it embedded a Javascript cryptocurrency miner to its site.

The illegal nature of the site makes it hard for The Pirate Bay to earn revenue via legitimate means. Fortunately, it is not enabled in all parts of the torrent site, which saved some users from a 0.6 to 0.8 increase in CPU usage. According to the company behind the script, Coinhive JavaScript Miner, the script shouldn't be initiated without user consent. "But we also need enough money to keep the site running", TPB stated in a blog post. Needless to say, the reaction has not been good - even from the Pirate Bay's own moderators.

It's very hard for pirate websites to get ad revenue because no reputed company wants their adverts on a website that is notorious for hosting illegal downloads. Do you want ads or do you want to give away a few of your CPU cycles every time you visit the site? "And perhaps get some attention for the uploading and commenting bugs while they're at it".

At this point in time, we do not know how much processing power the site takes from the users but it is safe to assume that the site will be making the most out of it so the amount will not be minimal. Another way of blocking the miner is by blocking the URL of the miner with the use of an ad-blocker. The Pirate Bay claims not to have nefarious intentions but there's potential for the idea to be used maliciously.

Other reports by AllAboutTopnews

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