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posted by janrinok on Friday February 09, @11:13PM   Printer-friendly
from the true-cost-of-watching-porn dept.

Motherboard writes about dodgy, javascript-using web sites which are throwing a little extra CPU load onto visitors and hoping they won't notice much.

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.

Source : Porn Sites Are Doing the Most Cryptocurrency Mining


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Russian Nuclear Scientists Caught Using Supercomputers To Mine Cryptocurrency 24 comments

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.


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  • (Score: 2) by takyon on Friday February 09, @11:22PM (1 child)

    by takyon (881) <takyonNO@SPAMsoylentnews.org> on Friday February 09, @11:22PM (#635769) Journal

    What if you're looking at porn sites on your mining rig?

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    [SIG] 10/28/2017: Soylent Upgrade v14 [soylentnews.org]
  • (Score: 2, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 09, @11:25PM (2 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 09, @11:25PM (#635771)

    As a young man I looked at too much pr0n on the intertubes and went blind and rubbed a raw bit that scarred over so I have no need to look at the pr0ns these days.

    • (Score: 2) by Snow on Friday February 09, @11:37PM (1 child)

      by Snow (1601) Subscriber Badge on Friday February 09, @11:37PM (#635776) Journal

      I'm so sorry. That sounds terrible.

      • (Score: 1, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 10, @02:26PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 10, @02:26PM (#636004)

        Eventually after many yearss I found a lady with bad enough eye sight that she would be my girlfriend and my wife. Now she looks at the pr0ns for me and tells me what's happening. And she kissed the sore bit better. All is not lost.

  • (Score: 5, Interesting) by bob_super on Friday February 09, @11:41PM (12 children)

    by bob_super (1357) on Friday February 09, @11:41PM (#635777)

    If you're looking at porn, you're probably not doing much serious stuff on you machine at the same time...
    So, between mining a few coins and having ugly disruptive flashing ads, what's the better solution to get that content provider a few pennies for that bandwidth?

    • (Score: 3, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 09, @11:43PM (2 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 09, @11:43PM (#635778)

      Here we see the slippery slope sliding headlong into hell.

      • (Score: 5, Touché) by bob_super on Saturday February 10, @01:14AM (1 child)

        by bob_super (1357) on Saturday February 10, @01:14AM (#635824)

        Head first, maybe. And "hell" is not what she calls it.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 10, @04:25AM

          by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 10, @04:25AM (#635867)

          Glad you've never found yourself off the heavenly path ;)

    • (Score: 5, Interesting) by requerdanos on Saturday February 10, @12:17AM (7 children)

      by requerdanos (5997) Subscriber Badge on Saturday February 10, @12:17AM (#635797) Journal

      between mining a few coins and having ugly disruptive flashing ads, what's the better solution to get that content provider a few pennies for that bandwidth?

      Trick question?

      Seriously, if there was a sign-up page with a button "Click here to run our mining process while on our page instead of ever seeing the blinking annoying ads again" it would very likely be an opt-in of epic proportions.

      • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 10, @12:40AM (3 children)

        by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 10, @12:40AM (#635806)

        > an opt-in of epic proportions

        Feels like a tragedy of the commons scenario, though. If a million browsers each spent one penny worth of electricity so that the hosting site could mine $10 worth of coin (remember, javascript on a general-purpose CPU has *terrible* hashrate/efficiency), that's a net loss of $9990 that just gets pissed away as a side effect...

        • (Score: 3, Insightful) by requerdanos on Saturday February 10, @12:58AM

          by requerdanos (5997) Subscriber Badge on Saturday February 10, @12:58AM (#635813) Journal

          hat's a net loss of $9990 that just gets pissed away as a side effect...

          that's $9990 that just gets pissed away is indirectly spent supporting content producers as a side effect while encouraging them to remove annoying ads.

        • (Score: 4, Interesting) by acid andy on Saturday February 10, @07:53AM

          by acid andy (1683) on Saturday February 10, @07:53AM (#635929)

          I suppose it depends whether it's during the winter. When your house is cold, suddenly previously inefficient uses of electricity become useful. Granted that it would be better off spending those cycles calculating something more useful for the planet though. Has anyone ever tried to make a cryptocurrency out of useful calculations like protein folding or SETI? I can see that it might be undesirable if you're effectively monetizing information that should be freely available scientific knowledge, a bit like patenting a genome.

          --
          Make hay whilst the intervening mass is insufficient to inhibit the perceived intensity of incoming solar radiation.
        • (Score: 3, Interesting) by Aiwendil on Saturday February 10, @10:51AM

          by Aiwendil (531) on Saturday February 10, @10:51AM (#635966) Journal

          I'd see that as an opportunity actually.

          Imagine if pornhub started to do this instead of ads, now imagine if they also would sign agreements with the power-companies to curtail their mining when requested, it would be one very fast and very well distributed load-shedding. And if the geo-ip or similar is accurate enough they probably also could help reduce the risk of overload on specific parts of the grid during peaks.

          It probably would be cheaper than having to run coal/gas/oil plants at partial burn all the time so they can ramp up to cover for intermittent sources (and for nuclear it would also be great since it means they always could go full power)

          (I'm actually amazed that no nuclear operator hasn't set up a cryptocurrency miner on their premises (so it never hits the grid), and just run that at full blast when the price they get for electricity drops down below what they would get for the mining - or at least during negative prices [or when prices are below what it would cost to produce that kWh]).

      • (Score: 4, Insightful) by tftp on Saturday February 10, @03:13AM

        by tftp (806) Subscriber Badge on Saturday February 10, @03:13AM (#635847) Homepage

        Seriously, if there was a sign-up page with a button "Click here to run our mining process while on our page instead of ever seeing the blinking annoying ads again" it would very likely be an opt-in of epic proportions.

        Probably mining cakes less resources of your computer than the flashy javascript ads.

      • (Score: 3, Interesting) by Aiwendil on Saturday February 10, @10:43AM

        by Aiwendil (531) on Saturday February 10, @10:43AM (#635963) Journal

        That was my first thought as well.

        However - if they demand to use all cores (and HT) at peak then I'd chose the ads but if they would settle for - say - 25% of each core (no HT) or set it at a fixed MIPS then it would be darn interesting.
        (I don't want the fans to ramp up on my system)

        And as alluded, if they would have a "would you mind if we mined with the same cycles as the ads otherwise would eat?" then it would make it a nice ad-free experience.

      • (Score: 2) by Rivenaleem on Monday February 12, @09:28AM

        by Rivenaleem (3400) on Monday February 12, @09:28AM (#636617)

        erotic proportions

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 10, @07:15AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 10, @07:15AM (#635915)

      > If you're looking at porn, you're probably not doing much serious stuff on you machine at the same time...

      Unless you're looking at porn to kill time while your parallelised number-crunching code is running. (Um, or so I heard.)

      > So, between mining a few coins and having ugly disruptive flashing ads, what's the better solution to get that content provider a few pennies for that bandwidth?

      Hah, like there's a snowball's chance in hell of them removing ads after adding a cryptominer. You'll spend half your cycles on Javascript ads, and the rest on Javascript mining.

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 09, @11:46PM (1 child)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 09, @11:46PM (#635779)

    YOU WILL BE MINED.

    Love and marriage, porn and technology, they go together like a horse and a carriage, ask your local gentry...

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 09, @11:51PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 09, @11:51PM (#635781)

      They will tell you it's elementary.

  • (Score: 2) by requerdanos on Saturday February 10, @12:14AM

    by requerdanos (5997) Subscriber Badge on Saturday February 10, @12:14AM (#635795) Journal

    Porn Sites Are Doing the Most Cryptocurrency Mining on Your Computer

    Just as a gentleman on The Newlywed Game, upon hearing that his wife thought their neighbors had more "Grass" than they did, famously said...

    "I wouldn't bet on that..."*

    I swear, I heard this guy in my head as soon as I read the headline.

    ------------------------------------------
    * https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GxVgF2uJa4I [youtube.com]

  • (Score: 2) by Runaway1956 on Saturday February 10, @01:06AM

    by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Saturday February 10, @01:06AM (#635818) Journal

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NdUD-jcr104 [youtube.com] (sorry, the video is rather poor quality - here, have a bonus video link!) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ch3X5WrhwGM [youtube.com]

    --
    #cageAristarchus!!11!!11!!
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