Open source internet browser, Mozilla Firefox, has added a privacy toggle to enable protection against cryptojacking for the users on its newest version, the Firefox Quantum. The news was communicated via a blog post by Mozilla on 21 May. In a previous blog post, the company had stated that the practice of cryptojacking poses significant risks to many users. This safety feature on Firefox Quantum comes alongside its anti-fingerprinting function.
Cryptojacking as a Problem
Cryptojacking involves, deploying scripts on a user’s computer via the internet, which can launch a mining software on the user’s machine without their knowledge of it. This kind of cryptojacking can be prevented through this new privacy toggle. The company developed this easy to use feature along with Disconnect, which specializes in online privacy. The feature allows you to block cryptojackers from hijacking the excess computing power of your computer for mining cryptocurrencies. This feature appeared in the Nightly 68 and Beta 67 versions this April, just before the launch of Quantum.
According to Malwarebytes, a security company, there has been a steady increase in the use of cryptojacking in recent times. In the first quarter of 2018, the Malwarebytes report mentions that there has been a 4000% rise in the incidence of Android-based cryptojacking attacks. In fact, cryptojacking apps were even found on the Microsoft app store, from where Microsoft removed these apps.
However, a recent report by Malwarebytes, states that since the last year, consumer-focused Bitcoin miners have decreased significantly. The report goes as far as to say that mining against consumers has essentially gone extinct. The focus is primarily on larger businesses now. In this light, it is essential to note that this feature may not prove to be very useful for the general consumer in the real sense. However, it might see adoption from larger agencies.