Malwarebytes looks at drive-by mining
Malwarebytes has been tracking the recent outbreak of illegal drive-by mining for cryptocurrencies. This comes as no surprise. Most of the mining that has been taken place has done so without the permission of the user. As a result, security vendors are marking the software concerned as malware. At the heart of the outbreak is a service launched by Coinhive which runs in a browser.
Running code in a browser to take advantage of unused computer time is nothing new. There have been many applications that have taken advantage of this approach. Perhaps the most famous of these was SETI@HOME. Launched in 1999 it allowed people to donate spare computer time to analyse radio data from telescopes. It was followed by many others such as BOINC, Atlas and POEM. All of these took advantage of users to help process data.