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Download any free films? Malware spreading now

Cybercriminals are always targeting popular websites to find new victims. The more users a site has, the more potential victims there are.

A popular downloading site was just found to contain code that allows your gadget to be hijacked. Keep reading to find out if you could be impacted.

How hackers could take control of your gadget

We’re talking about The Pirate Bay website. It’s a bit-torrent indexer, a file-sharing protocol that allows users to share things like movies and TV shows.

Programming code was recently discovered that had been placed on some of The Pirate Bay’s webpages. The hidden code was used to mine virtual currency from visitors’ computers.

Visitors’ gadgets were used to generate coins for Monero digital currency, similar to Bitcoin. Administrators of the site admitted the code is being used as an experiment to find alternatives to ad revenue.

The code on The Pirate Bay pages was intended to give away a few central processing unit (CPU) cycles every time a user visits. However, an error in the code forced it to try and access all CPU power available. This caused users’ gadgets to run extremely slow or crash to a halt, basically allowing the site to hijack their gadget.

Over the weekend, many users took to social media to complain about the issue. They said The Pirate Bay website was running digital currency mining through their browser, without warning.

The Pirate Bay posted on its site, “As you may have noticed we are testing a Monero javascript miner. This is only a test. We really want to get rid of all the ads. But we also need enough money to keep the site running.

“Let us know what you think in the comments. Do you want ads or do you want to give away a few of your CPU cycles every time you visit the site?”

How to block currency mining

Site administrators say they have fixed the issue. The code will now limit the power it uses to 30 percent.

However, if you want to avoid digital currency mining altogether, it can be blocked by a normal ad-blocker or disabling Javascript.

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