Coinhive Monero Miner Set to Close

Security

Cryptocurrency mining tool Coinhive has decided to shut up shop, although not because of its rampant abuse by hackers over the past two years.

The team behind the Monero miner revealed all in a brief post on Tuesday, claiming that the 18-month project had come to an end as it was no longer economically viable.

“The drop in hash rate (over 50%) after the last Monero hard fork hit us hard. So did the ‘crash’ of the cryptocurrency market with the value of XMR depreciating over 85% within a year. This and the announced hard fork and algorithm update of the Monero network on March 9 has led us to the conclusion that we need to discontinue Coinhive,” it explained.

“Thus, mining will not be operable anymore after March 8, 2019. Your dashboards will still be accessible until April 30, 2019 so you will be able to initiate your payouts if your balance is above the minimum payout threshold.”

Although a legitimate browser-based mining tool, Coinhive sprung to notoriety quickly as it was abused by cyber-criminals around the world.

In February last year, it was found on over 4000 sites including several belonging to US and UK government agencies, after a supply chain installation.

As of December 2018, it remained the most prevalent ‘malware’ detected by Check Point for the 13th straight month, impacting 12% of organizations worldwide.

Other cryptocurrency mining software filled out the rest of the top four “most wanted” list compiled by the security vendor.

Although cryptojacking technically does not result in any data theft or serious IT operational issues, it can crash systems and — when installed on corporate servers — result in increased power consumption/charges and shorten replacement cycles for expensive kit.

Trend Micro claimed this week that detections of cryptocurrency mining malware passed the one million mark for the first time in 2018, a 237% increase from 2017 figures. However, hackers are increasingly expanding their methods of spreading these tools, to include exploit kits, plug-ins, abused ad platforms, server exploits and more, it said.

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