There are many proponents for cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum, and they’ll cite any number of reasons. Unfortunately, one problem that keeps resurfacing is that there are tons of questionable, shady, and even outright illegal use cases where cryptocoins are incredibly useful. This weekend, Gizmodo reports that Showtime’s website apparently got involved in mining cryto, without the users’ consent.
The most profitable CPU-based cryptocoin right now is called Monero (XMR), and you can gross about $0.50 per day with an i7-7700K. Ryzen 7 CPUs could even break $1 per day, while older generation hardware might be in the $0.10-$0.30 per day range. Take a website with tens of thousands of users, and the potential for profit can add up quickly—provided the users don’t notice.
Multiple sites reported finding CoinHive code on Showtime’s website, and Showtime’s only comment so far has been a ‘no comment’ to Gizmodo. While ShowTime has since removed the code that activated the CoinHive miner, and CoinHive itself is against such unauthorized uses, this likely won’t be the last we hear of this sort of thing. Hackers now have another tool to include in their arsenal, one that could quickly earn large sums of money. Whether the source is a malicious advertisement or some other outside influence, we have one more reason to pay attention to CPU usage while surfing the web.