Coinhive is a legitimate crypto mining software that allows users to inject the Monero mining tool on their website. Many website owners use this service to mine Monero coins by using visitors computer systems. This helps the websites to sustain their online presence instead of annoying users with ads.
But many cyber criminals exploiting this service to illegally inject mining codes to the users in order to earn huge profits.
However, the developers of Coinhive announced officially that they are shutting down their services from 8th of March. So, all the in-browser mining java scripts will stop working by then. And the users of Coinhive should withdraw all their Monero coins within 30th of April. As all the accounts and dashboards will not be functional.
Serious decline in the value of Monero coins is the reason for shutdown
In the announcement been made, Coinhive gave various reasons for the take down of the software service.
The drop in hash rate (over 50%) after the last Monero hard fork hit us hard. So did the “crash“ of the crypto currency 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 lead us to the conclusion that we need to discontinue Coinhive.
Over the past years, the value of Monero coins has fallen to 85% which affected the company’s economy globally.
Second factor, is the resources which needed to mine the crypto-currency. It was hard to mine the currency as it needs too much computing power.
Next was the decline in the Coinhive’s hash rate by a fork which reduced to 50% of its value. And another fork is planning to hit the company hard by reducing the rate by 9th of March.
Due to the constant rise in the mining cost along with the decline of the Coinhives hash rate impacted the whole profit. So the decision was taken to shut down the Coinhive.
Coinhive’s mining code was abused by malware authors
Coinhive’s in-browser mining service was launched back in 2017. This gave a way for the website to earn some profit by using the visitor’s CPU power to mine the Monero coins. Instead of displaying ads on the websites that annoys users. Although, the legitimate website owners using mining scripts within the background disclose the visitors about this.
This became a lucrative business for malware authors and Coinhive too. As the company 30% of the mining profits goes to the developers of the Coinhive and rest to the miners. But the fact is, the mining process being done illegally.
Soon, as the shady activity increases, it came to the knowledge of Cyber Security authorities. And various legitimate website owners and users to complained about the abuse of Coinhive mining code. Many users also considered as malware and became skeptical about its service. So the Coinhive made few changes to its mining code that eventually affected its profit.
There are still a lot of hacked sites with Coinhive code, but I have a feeling these are mostly remnants from past hacks. Most of what I see these days is CoinIMP [a Coinhive competitor] and it’s been active again with Drupal hacks recently. But overall, I think the trend is nearing out.
There are still various mining codes available freely that may attack users and silently use the CPU power to mine cryptocurrency. Like Jcecn.exe, KingMiner, DBUpdater.exe, GridCash CPU Miner and winlog.exe.
To stay away from them,