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Digging into Browser-based Crypto Mining

Title: Digging into Browser-based Crypto Mining

(Submitted on 2 Aug 2018)

Abstract: Mining is the foundation of blockchain-based cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin rewarding the miner for finding blocks for new transactions. Monero, a recent alternative currency enables mining with standard hardware in contrast to special hardware (ASICs) as often used in Bitcoin, paving the way for browser-based mining as a new revenue model for website operators. In this work, we study the prevalence of this new phenomenon. We identify and classify mining websites on a large corpus of websites and present a new fingerprinting method which finds up to a factor of 5.7 more miners than publicly available block lists. Our work identifies and dissects Coinhive as the major browser-mining stakeholder. Further, we present a new method to associate mined blocks in the Monero blockchain to mining pools and uncover that Coinhive currently contributes 1.18% of mined blocks turning over Moneros worth a quarter of a million USD per month. Submission history From: Jan Rüth [view email] [v1] Thu, 2 Aug 2018 13:43:58 GMT (4693kb,D)
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