Opera Mobile Browser Takes on Cryptojacking

Olive Hawkins
January 23, 2018

Many websites, including the renowned site "The Pirate Bay", are monetizing their content by secretly mining cryptocurrency using the processing power of visitors' devices. According to Opera, 3 million websites are exposed to it so far. A similar feature was added on Opera browser for Windows early this month. However, Opera suggests that its new feature doesn't completely eliminate the problem in every case.

"Your CPU suddenly working at 100 percent capacity, the fan is going insane 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. Since the CPUs are not as powerful on smartphones as they are on some high-end PCs and laptops, crypto-mining affects the device's performance and battery life.

"When you browse the web, there are no visual clues that your device is exposed to mining", VP Product Marketing at Opera told the Next Web via email. The feature can be turned off in Opera Mini in the ad blocker's settings page for those of you that trust the website and would not mind helping it make some money. "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" he further added. This clandestine process of mining digital coins is also called cryptojakcing and it can have serious repercussions for the affected user's smartphone.

Opera cryptojacking protection

Opera is a free browser available for Android smartphones whereas Opera Mini can be downloaded on Android as well as iPhones.

Opera released new versions of their mobile browser today that blocks in-browser cryptocurrency mining as long as the built-in ad blocker is enabled. Moreover, majority do not support any third-party plugins on their mobile version, so mobile devices are really vulnerable to cryptojacking. Other companies like Opera are doing something different, which is integrate the cryptomining protection right within their browsers.

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