We all now know about cryptocurrencies They are anonymous, decentralized in nature, and people can use them for make transactions that can’t be traced. As cryptocurrencies have gained popularity, there are some website owners who are using cryptocurrency mining programs to utilize resources of their visitors’ computer for earning profits. However, many developers have developed different methods that can stop cryptocurrency mining (also sometimes referred as Bitcoin mining) in web browsers.
World’s numero uno torrent website, The Pirate Bay was currently caught mining Monero cryptocurrency on their website. Later, they confessed that they might use cryptocurrency mining in future to generate money for the website. Similar incidents were reported worldwide.
Anyway, the practice of crypto mining using others’ computer resources isn’t new. But this has triggered the ethics debate where users are accusing website owners of keeping them in the dark. Still, there were users who didn’t have any problem when their favorite websites used their CPU to generate revenue. They were only intimidated by lesser known websites and that too when they didn’t care about asking for their consent.
Torrent and other websites of similar nature are widely considered to be the hideout to hundreds of malicious advertisements. Browsing these websites can help miners exploit your PC resources for mining cryptocurrencies. However, here are 5 simple ways you can use to block cryptocurrency or Bitcoin mining in your web browsers.
How To Block Cryptocurrency Mining In Web Browsers
Here are 5 simple methods to block Bitcoin mining: –
1. No Coin Extension
If you’re a chrome user, installing No Coin Extension is one of the best ways to block coin mining in the browser. No Coin is a free chrome extension that is reliable, safe and effective. It’s a powerful method to control operations of websites on your web browsers.
Once you visit a site, the extension will automatically detect and display any ongoing suspicious activity on your web browser. You can also whitelist websites for a given period of time with No Coin extension. Click here to download No Coin extension for Chrome users.
2. Stop Coin Mining Domains In Your Host Files
You can call it as the manual method for blocking specific domains that you consider harmful.
As a result, the web browser is not permitted to connect to the blacklisted domains.
We can alter host file and redirect the file to 0.0.0.0.
In Linux-based operating systems, you can use the following command and and insert 0.0.0.0 coin-hive.com at the end of document.
Command: – sudo nano /etc/hosts
Follow the steps in Linux-based OS: –
Run the command – sudo nano /private/etc/hosts
sudo nano /private/etc/hostsFor Windows operating system, go to “C:\Windows\System32\drivers\etc” and alter the host file by adding 0.0.0.0 coin-hive.com at the end.
Note: – The change in the host file blocks mining scripts that are hosted by coin-hive.com. If you want to stop other mining scripts, you can add them in a similar fashion down the line.
3. How To Block Cryptocurrency Mining Via Ad Blocker
There are few Ad blocking extensions such as AdBlock that can help you stop cryptocurrency mining. There are different settings to block specific websites according to the web browser. In Chrome browser, go to list of extensions and search for AdBlock. When you find it, navigate to “Customize>Block an Ad by its URL”. Further, add this text in text box:
Note: – The above-mentioned text only works for coin-hive mining scripts. For other mining scripts, different text should be used.
4. NoScripts In Firefox
Note: – NoScript is a very strict website blocking program. It stops websites by disabling every single script running on the page. TOR browser users are familiar with the NoScript extension and its application.
NoScript is a great method to block Bitcoin mining machines to mine coins via your web browser.
5. Blocking CoinHive On Opera Web Browser
Opera 50, the one of newest members in the Opera web browser family has a inbuilt feature that obstructs CoinHive scripts and other cryptocurrency mining techniques. It will allow users to ensure that their systems don’t go crazy when they interact with websites that use Bitcoin mining techniques. Opera users can find this feature in the “Settings/Preferences for Mac users > Basic > Block Ads
These are the best and simplest ways to stay away from Bitcoin mining websites. Now if you find out whether your PC is being used by crypto miners, let us tell you how to detect any such activity.
How To Detect If Your PC Is Mining Cryptocurrency?
Other than the ransomware malware, bitcoin mining programs are also on the rise. Here’s how to find out whether your web browser is being used for mining bitcoins and other cryptocurrencies.
You can check the CPU usage monitor when visiting a website. If the website gives a spike in the CPU usage monitor, then it’s possible that a miner is using your web browser. Note that you should close all applications other than your web browser while performing this experiment.
Pirate Bay users used this technique to detect mining techniques on their PCs.
For Windows, you can open the task manager and check the “Performance” tab to notice if a spike is being created.
For macOS, you can navigate to ‘Go’ tab, select Utilities option and choose ‘Activity Monitor’ to check CPU utilization on your Mac.
For people who are less tech-savvy, you can always try the hit and trial method on suspected websites and monitor any change in CPU usage. However, tech-savvy users can use different resource monitoring tools to keep an eye on CPU utilization while visiting different websites.
Do You Need To Block Cryptocurrency Miners In Web Browsers?
The answer depends upon the website that is using your CPU for cryptocurrency mining. Moreover, if the website takes prior permission for using CPU and you’re comfortable with the notion, there’s no harm in it. But websites should always inform visitors about intended CPU power usage for virtual coin mining.
Hence, if your favorite website is being transparent about their practices and you are ready to support the website, things are fine. If not, now you know how to block Cryptocurrency Mining in web browsers.