Crypto Mining Service Coinhive to Shut Down Operations in March

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In-browser mining service Coinhive will discontinue its operations in March 2019, due to economic problems.

Cryptocurrency mining service Coinhive is shutting down, as the project has reportedly become economically inviable. The team behind Coinhive announced the news in a blog post on Feb. 26.

Per the announcement, the mining service will stop its operations on March 8, 2019, while users’ dashboards will be accessible until April 30, 2019. Among the reasons behind the closure, the developers note the over 50 percent drop in hash rate following the last Monero (XMR) hard fork.

The service was reportedly also hit by the cryptocurrency market drop off , with the value of XMR slumped over 85 percent within a year. “This and the announced hard fork and algorithm update of the Monero network on March 9 has lead us to the conclusion that we need to discontinue Coinhive,” the post reads.

Coinhive is a JavaScript-based digital currency mining service that banks on a computer code to be installed on websites. Once installed, the service uses some of the computing power of a browser that loads the site in question. Although Coinhive is not an inherently malicious code, it has become popular among hackers for cryptojacking.

Earlier this month, tech giant Microsoft removed eight Windows 10 applications from its official app store after cybersecurity firm Symantec identified the presence of surreptitious XMR coin mining code. The firm’s analysis identified the strain of mining malware enclosed in the apps as being the web browser-based Coinhive XMR mining code.

In January, Israeli cybersecurity firm Check Point released its Global Threat Index for December 2018, stating that the top three most wanted malware strains were all cryptojacking-related with Coinhive, sealing the top spot for the 13th consecutive month.

A recent report from cyber security research firm Kaspersky Labs revealed that cryptojacking overtook ransomware as the biggest cybersecurity threat — particularly in the Middle East, Turkey and Africa. Not only PC but also smartphone users are targeted by unauthorized mining software — from the 2016 to 2018 period, these kinds of attacks reportedly increased by 9.5 percent.

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