Cryptojacking is the act of creating mining scripts or complete malicious malware onto computers of unsuspicious users to mine cryptocurrencies.
Hackers have been injecting Coinhive on websites that lack strong security to mine Monero. Given that Monero is a privacy coin, it makes it more difficult to catch culprits. Several high profile websites have been affected by cryptojacking. Tesla’s website was hacked earlier this year to mine Monero using Coinhive. Additionally, a bug in Drupal caused over 300 sites to be infected with Coinhive including the websites of San Diego Zoo and the government of Chihuahua.
An official report from UK’s National Crime Agency (NCA) notes that the issue is here to stay for a while:
“Popular websites are likely to continue to be targets for compromise, serving cryptomining malware to visitors, and software is available that, when running in a webpage, uses the visiting computer’s spare computer processing power to mine the digital currency Monero.”
Even though regulators and security have been making efforts to follow up with these new risks, the Japanese government has made some improvements to the issue. Earlier this week, it was announced that the Japanese police was probing into three suspects who are claimed to be using Coinhive to install mining scripts in various websites secretly.
Based on reports from the local publication The Asahi Shimbun, 16 people from 10 prefectures, aged between 18 and 48 have been arrested by the police for cryptojacking. The suspects had run their own websites, which they supposedly used to send programs to the visitors of their site to mine cryptocurrencies without their approval.