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Crypto Miners Blocked From Entering Opera Browser On Mobile

Sead Fadilpašić
Last updated: | 1 min read

Opera Software, a web browser company, announced they will add an anti-crypto mining feature into their integrated ad-blocker on mobile browsers – something they have had on their desktop versions since December.

Cryptojacking is a process by which your computer or phone is used to remotely mine cryptocurrency without your knowledge. It is especially notorious for using a lot of battery, a point which Jan Standal, Vice president of Product Marketing and Communications at Opera addresses in their announcement.

“When you browse the web, there are no visual clues that your device is exposed to mining. A single webpage you visit can take up to 4.5 hours of your battery time, if you keep the tab open. This often turns out to be just the battery time you needed to use a ride-hailing app or check the map to get home,” says Standal.

In September 2017, both The Pirate Bay and Showtime have been caught cryptojacking their users’ computers. The Pirate Bay was exposed by Torrentfreak, after which they scrambled to cover up under the guise of “only testing it”, but admitting that this is a way to fund the page. Users seem to have no problem with it “as long as they are informed”, which they were not, as opposed to the site generating revenue through ads.

The example of the comments on The Pirate Bay’s blog post shows that some users would consent to having their CPUs (central processing unit) used for mining crypto. While Opera’s new software ensures their users are protected from cryptojacking, it still leaves the option of disabling that part of the ad-blocker. This way, disabling only NoCoin could be an acceptable middle ground to users who understand the risks and want to proceed.