from the true-cost-of-watching-porn dept.
Netlab 360's analysis suggests that in-browser cryptocurrency mining, which stormed back onto the world stage in 2017 after being dormant for several years (likely due to low cryptocurrency prices) via a torrent site is now chiefly the purview of porn sites. It's worth noting, too, that criminals have found some pretty creative ways to get people to mine cryptocurrency for them outside of website visits, including hacking an Argentine internet provider.
In-browser cryptocurrency mining has the potential to eat up your computer's resources and slow down your machine, making the trend of particular interest to cyber security researchers lately. Last year, Symantec predicted that in-browser mining would turn into an "arms race" in 2018 as malicious actors come up with even more inventive (and invasive) methods of mining digital coins with someone else's machine.
Well, we've seen past stories on viruses co-opting Raspberry Pi units to mine cryptocurrency, and websites mining a few coins on their viewers' systems, but it took some crafty boffins in Russia to really give the issue some scale. International Business Times has the story, dated 9 Feb 2018...
Russian security officials arrested a number of scientists working at a secret Russian nuclear weapons facility for allegedly using lab equipment to mine for cryptocurrencies, according to Russia's Interfax News Agency.
[The facility's computers are] supposed to be isolated; they are kept disconnected from the internet in order to prevent any outside intrusion or hacking efforts. That was violated by the engineers who decided to use the supercomputer rigs to mine for cryptocurrency.
Mining for cryptocurrency requires a considerable amount of processing power—something the average computer might struggle to provide but a supercomputer designed for work on nuclear weapons surely has the capacity for.
The story does not specify the cryptocurrency or cryptocurrencies the scientists were trying to mine, nor whether any mining was successful.