Leading internet browser, Google Chrome, has taken down a Chrome browser extension which was reported to be secretly mining cryptocurrency using the CPU power of the users.
A popular extension, Archive Poster (earlier available on this link) which allowed Tumblr users to “reblog, queue, draft, and like posts right from another blog’s archive” was reportedly hijacking the CPUs of over 105,000 users to secretly mine cryptocurrency Monero.
A screengrab showing the user reviews on the Archive Poster extension page and the high CPU usage while it was running.
The extension did not ask for any permission from the users to run the code and kept mining the cryptocurrency as long as the browser was open.
Such processes are popularly known as cryptojacking. A user has no way to turn this off but to uninstall the extension or close the website executing the process.
The extension was developed by qplus.io.
Incidentally, after the extension was taken down, another extension ‘[SAFE] Archive Poster’ has cropped up. Offered by ‘Archive Poster’, the extension does not provide any screenshot of how it works. The reliability of the extension stays questionable.
Computing power is essential for mining cryptocurrencies as a miner’s computer has to solve complex mathematical calculations to mine a cryptocurrency such as bitcoin, ripple, and ether.