Movistar.es is a website owned by the famous telecommunications company from Spain, Telefónica, used software called Coinhive to mine cryptocurrencies by using CPU power of the website’s visitors.
During this year, CoinHive appeared as a popular software used for web mining of cryptocurrencies without user’s knowledge. Yesterday, new information was published saying the website of Movistar España used the malicious software to mine a cryptocurrency called monero (XMR). The telecommunications company installed the software on its website in order to prevent it from being installed by some hacker in the future, according to a source from the company. A portal called Teknautas received confirmation from Movistar that the software has been deactivated and the company also apologized to its users.
CoinHive on the Movistar website was discovered by a user from Forocoches. After the discovery, the code was removed from the website. Some think the company was not the one who installed the software, but an unknown developer who wanted to benefit from web mining.
On the other hand, some people thinks it could be used for legitimate purposes, but only if the user has previously agreed to activate it.
Minr is another piece of malicious software used for web mining of monero.
If you want to protect yourself from unauthorized web mining, you can download and install an extension for your web browser called No Coin. This extension is used to prevent the operation of CoinHive exclusively. Another alternative is DetectMiner.
There are ideas to use web mining as a tool for website financing. We will see what 2018 will bring in regards to this matter.