Mozilla officially announced their upgraded Firefox browser recently. The upgrades known as Firefox Nightly 68 and Beta 67 now automatically block crypto mining malware and fingerprinting hack attacks. The new features were developed in collaboration with Disconnect, a privacy and security software firm. Disconnect’s blacklist of malware domains associated with fingerprint and crypto mining scripts is reportedly capable of blocking in-browser mining.
Bloomberg reported back in December that crypto jacking (a major hacking scheme that mines users’ cryptocurrencies without their knowledge or consent) has become the biggest cyber threat in many parts of the world, outnumbering even ransomware threats. While the protection is currently set to default as enabled in the Nightly 68 upgrade sometime in the next few weeks, users can enable it themselves now in their Privacy and Security settings’ section.
Cryptojacking is a major hacking scheme that is defined as the secret deployment of users’ computing power to mine cryptocurrencies without users’ knowledge and consent. In December 2018, Bloomberg wrote that crypto jacking reportedly became the biggest cyber threat in many parts of the world, having overtaken ransomware threats. Cybersecurity firm McAfee Labs reporting that the total instances of crypto jacking malware rose by more than 4,000 percent in 2018.
Recently, Ukraine’s Cyber Police arrested a man who allegedly placed crypto mining malware scripts on his own websites. The 32-year-old allegedly placed crypto jacking software on a number of educational websites that he created and administered that saw over 1.5 million monthly visitors. Police stated that the software installed malware on visitors’ devices to illegally mine cryptocurrencies. The man faces imprisonment for up to six years if convicted.