Cryptojacking is a growing problem and it's starting to become one of the biggest digital threats out there. With the current cryptocurrencies boom, this new kind of profit-generating practice is quickly spreading.
While cryptomining is a completely legal way to earn cryptocurrencies, cryptojacking is another story. It's a new scheme by cybercriminals to profit off your gadget without your knowledge.
That's why Google is making a move to try and thwart cryptojacking. It's starting to ban cryptomining extensions.
Why cryptojacking is a problem for you
What is cryptojacking? It's a method for hackers to generate revenue for themselves at your expense.
Since cryptomining consumes tons of electrical energy, fraudsters love sourcing out this activity to others. Instead of putting up server farms dedicated to cryptomining, they would rather steal your computing resources to do the heavy lifting for them.
They can do this by installing cryptomining malware secretly on your phone or computer. Think of it as similar to a botnet, except it's used for mining cryptos like Bitcoin or Monero instead of performing denial of service attacks.
Google announced this week that it will ban cryptocurrency mining browser extensions from the Chrome store. Starting in July, Google will begin eliminating existing browser extensions that aid mining. Other types of blockchain-related extensions will continue to be allowed.
A Google rep told Wired, "The key to maintaining a healthy extensions ecosystem is to keep the platform open and flexible. This empowers our developers to build creative and innovative customizations for Chrome browser users.
"This is why we chose to defer banning extensions with cryptomining scripts until it became clear that the vast majority of mining extensions submitted for review failed to comply with our single purpose policy or were malicious."
Will this ban work?
Obviously, this ban will not eliminate the problem of cyrptojacking altogether. Scammers will continue to find other avenues to access victims' computers. But at least it's a start and hopefully, other tech companies will take steps to address the issue.
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