Cryptocurrency Mining Blocker Added To Opera Web Browser

Announcements, News | January 23, 2018 By:

Opera web browser has released new versions of their mobile browser that blocks in-browser cryptocurrency mining. The cryptocurrency mining blocker has already been present in the desktop version of Opera since December.

The new feature will be available on Opera Mini and Opera for Android and is part of the browser’s native ad-blocker function. It will block all cryptocurrency mining scripts pushed by websites by default.

“When you browse the web, there are no visual clues that your device is exposed to mining,” said Opera’s VP Product Marketing Jan Standal. “A single webpage you visit can take up to 4.5 hours of your battery time, if you keep the tab open. This often turns out to be just the battery time you needed to use a ride-hailing app or check the map to get home.”

Opera believes there are now more than three million websites with embedded cryptocurrency miners. Such mining activity can have serious ramifications for your hardware, as it will cause your device’s CPU to run at very high temperatures for an extended period of time. This could lead to your hardware becoming damaged from so much heat constrained in a small space.

“Your CPU suddenly working at 100 percent capacity, the fan is going crazy for seemingly no reason and your battery quickly depleting might all be signs that someone is using your computer to mine for cryptocurrency,” the company wrote in a blog post. “This cryptocurrency mining can sometimes continue after you have first visited the site. But we have a built-in solution to keep miners from trespassing onto your machine.”

Last year, Israeli cybersecurity giant Check Point reported that they found thousands of examples of video-streaming and file-sharing websites, such as The Pirate Bay and NBC’s ShowTime, hosting cryptomining software like CoinHive, a Monero mining software. Check Point intelligence manager Maya Horowitz said almost all failed to disclose the tools’ use.