Ultimate Fighting Championship (ufc.com) is the latest service to come under fire for running Coin Hive’s Monero mining scheme, using site visitors’ CPU power to mine cryptocurrency for a fast buck.
The scheme didn’t go unnoticed by redditor ‘gambledub’ who, on Monday, made the following entry on the MMA subreddit:
Coin Hive has received quite a bit of attention lately. The service, which encourages users to disclose their intentions to their audience, lets anyone with a relatively popular website mine Monero cryptocurrency using visitors’ computer horsepower.
The practice, however, has been more than controversial, because most users of the service fail to tell visitors their computers are being used to generate electronic currency – which can be converted at any time into physical currency.
As of press time, the UFC has removed the Coin Hive code from its website.
Most recently, a software engineer published a Medium post sharing his experience of coming across a Google Chrome URL shortening extension carrying a hidden cryptocurrency miner. That miner was none other than the product offered by Coin Hive.
Though technically not full-fledged malware, cryptocurrency miners like those offered by Coin Hive are detected by Bitdefender and other AV vendors as potentially-malicious, giving users the chance to opt out.