I hadn’t used the Opera browser lately, so when I brought it up today I saw immediately that it was updated.
Being a little unmotivated this morning I scanned down the “See what’s new page” and was pleasantly surprised by Opera’s addition of an anti-cryptocurrency mining feature. Or is it a benefit?
Once you turn the ad blocker on, with a single click, you’ll be protected from dubious sites that steal your bandwidth and processing power so they can get the rewards from mining.
But wait! Does that mean you can’t read Salon.com? Of course not.
Surfing over to salon.com one can see everything if they haven’t turned off ads. Sure, you can turn off ads, well, actually turn on the ad blocker.
When I tried going there just now the address bar in Opera showed ’65’ with an ‘X’ in a blue shield at the far right. Hover over that and you’ll see ‘Block ads’ in a text alert. (The number of ads blocked will change according to how far down the page you scrolled.)
The thing is, with Opera browser, I didn’t see this notice and never would have found out about the “opportunity” to help Salon, who posted this note prior to going for it:
www.salon.com Would Like To Use Your Computing Power
You can support www.salon.com by allowing them to use your processor for calculations. The calculations are securely executed in your Browser’s sandbox. You don’t need to install anything.
To dump the ads while viewing salon you’re supposed to click on the “Suppress Ads” button followed by the “Allow for this session” button. Note below this allow button is a “powered by coinhive – more info” missive, but why do the links need to be grey-out, Salon?
Windows Task Manager shows a whopping increase in used processing power once the mining app is engaged.
So much so, that it jumps from single digit CPU Usage to 70-80%!
Shortly after allowing the coinhive to do its mining thing in the background, I clicked around several pages of this alt-adware site and saw the CPU usage fell quickly to much lower values, but I didn’t let this little test continue for but a few moments.
Then my anti-virus kicked in and told me it aborted coinhive. That was a bit of a surprise!
So, yeah, what was I really agreeing to have this script do?
Anyway…visit https://cryptojackingtest.com/ if you want to be sure of your browser’s status regarding cryptojacking.
Oh, and if you’ve never tried Opera browser before, I encourage you to download it and give it a go. I love the right-click gesture left to go back a page! If you’re on the go, try the portable version of Opera so you can always have it with you. You’ll be happy you checked it out!!