CCN reports that hackers have been installing Coinhive on websites with weak security to mine Monero – a privacy-based coin which makes it harder to catch the individuals. A number of high-profile websites have been targeted. Earlier this year, Tesla’s website was infected with Coinhive. A bug in Drupal resulted in more than 300 websites infected with Coinhive, including the website of the San Diego Zoo and the government of Chihuahua.
An official report from the UK’s National Crime Agency (NCA), has stated that the problem isn’t likely to go away anytime soon:
“Popular websites are likely to continue to be targets for compromise, serving cryptomining malware to visitors, and software is available that, when run in a webpage, uses the visiting computer’s spare computer processing power to mine the digital currency Monero.”
A local news publication reports The Asahi Shimbun, has reported that Japanese authorities have arrested 16 individuals aged between 18 and 48. The suspects had operated their own websites, which they supposedly used to send programmes to the visitors of their site to mine the currency without their consent.
While Coinhive is free to install, it operates on a 70/30 model, meaning 70% of the Monero mined goes to the website operator while the remaining 30% goes to the Coinhive developer.