Cryptocurrency workers have been in the news lately because The Pirate Bay caught unusual flak about a week ago for experimenting out a new service called Coinhive without notifying users. The Coinhive miner uses the website visitors’ spare CPU power to create a cryptocurrency called Monero it’s like bitcoin but more private. This isn’t certainly a nefarious thing to do. Coinhive is trying to show itself as a novel and reasonable way for websites to make some capital from visitors. The organization takes 30 percent of the Monero that’s mined by users’ CPUs and the website keeps the rest. It could be a nice way to bypass advertising but it’s not cool to do this externally getting users’ permission.
If Showtime deliberately included the script, it would be a less worrisome situation. As we said, this code isn’t fundamentally bad, it just takes up some of your processing power. But even though Coinhive is just a couple of weeks old, researchers have found that malware developers have suddenly begun to add it to their toolbox of scams. Coinhive doesn’t endorse that kind of way and has explicitly told its disapproval for using its service without notifying users.
The comment about the script in the code refers to New Relic, which is also the title of a web analytics firm. We moved out to the firm to ask if they had any information about the situation. A spokesperson refused to confirm what relationship New Relic has with Showtime, but denied the cipher was inserted by one of their workers:
We take the security of our Browser Agent extremely severely and have multiple controls in place to identify the malicious or unauthorized modification of its script at different points along its development and deployment pipeline. Upon evaluating our products and code, the HTML comments shown in the screenshot that is referencing newrelic were not injected by New Relic’s agents. It seems they were added to the website by its developers. Given that this piece was not injected by the New Relic agent, we have nothing further to comment.
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