The Bay was caught twice secretly mining Monero cryptocurrency using Javascript powered by Coinhive.

Popular in-browser crypto-mining service will be down from March 9th, 2019 much to the dismay of hackers who loved it quite ardently. The reason behind this decision, according to Coinhive, is the declining value of Monero cryptocurrency due to the unexpected market crash.

In a statement released in this regard, the explained their reasoning quite clearly:

“The drop in rate (over 50%) after the last Monero hard fork hit us hard. So did the ‘crash’ of the cryptocurrency market with the value of XMR depreciating over 85% within a year. This and the announced hard fork and algorithm update of the Monero network on March 9th has to lead us to the conclusion that we need to discontinue Coinhive.”

The company further revealed that the registered users need to withdraw all of their funds stored in Coinhive accounts until April 30th.

It must be noted that Coinhive was launched in September 2017 as a substitute to conventional banner ads. The service was based on the approach that by loading coinhive.js JavaScript file, websites can mine for Monero from within the browsers on behalf of the website owners. This meant that the longer a user stays on the site the more cash the website owner would receive.

See: Hackers are using YouTube Ads to Mine Monero Cryptocurrency

Coinhive maintained that the service offered web owners a “legitimate” way to earn revenues without getting excessively dependent upon online ads. Coinhive demanded a certain percentage of the earnings in return. The service was secretly utilized by The Pirate Bay (TPB) and this is how it got discovered in late 2017 however after visitors’ criticism; The Pirate Bay was forced to remove Coinhive’s code from the site.

In June 2018, TPB went offline for a and resurfaced with yet another cryptocurrency mining code powered by Coinhive but this time its administrators made a statement that they will carry on mining Monero coins advising visitors to enable adblocker

On the other hand, several well-known web platforms benefitted from Coinhive’s cryptomining service including Salon.com and Showtime. Moreover, Coinhive played a vital role in the mass hijacking of routers around the world in which hackers would create a botnet to mine Monero coins.

Troy Mursch of Bad Packets Reports who was discussing the impact of Coinhive’s shut down told HackRead that he is expecting an overall drop in the hashrate (the measure of miner’s performance), but its overall impact can only be determined on March 9th.

“The expectation is all references to Coinhive’s servers will cease to function, thus stopping any cryptojacking activity from happening. This is good news for all those hacked sites that were never cleaned up,” said Mursch.

See: The Pirate Bay alternatives (2018) in wake of Cryptomining scandal

It is worth noting that several websites who used Coinhive’s services ended up removing it. The service then caught the eyes of hackers and cybercriminals who placed the JavaScript file on government domains and other sensitive websites such as PolitiFact while some chose to place it on Android apps, smartphones, and even Android TVs. Eventually, Coinhive’s domain was banned by ad-blocking browser add-ons and antivirus software.

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