Adblock Plus wants to protect you from sites using your computer resources to mine cryptocurrency. The team has released a filter that users can add to their Adblock Plus browser extension in Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Android. Add the extension and it will take care of the rest: Your device will no longer be used to quietly mine Bitcoin or any other cryptocurrency.
Over the weekend, The Pirate Bay users noticed that a cryptocurrency miner had appeared on the site and was using visitors’ computers to mine Monero. This isn’t the first time a site has explored cryptocurrency mining as an alternative source of revenue, but The Pirate Bay is one of the top 100 sites in the world, so the news understandably made waves.
The thinking is pretty straightforward: If I don’t have to ask users’ permission to display ads on my site, then why should I have to ask them permission to mine cryptocurrency? After all, it costs money to produce content and keep a site operating.
On the other side, users feel that they should at the very least be informed of the practice, with some arguing that it should be opt-in. And of course, those who choose to block ads are more likely to be interested in blocking mining.
That’s where Adblock Plus, which has over 100 million active users, comes in.
In Chrome, click on the menu button, More tools, and then Extensions. Find Adblock Plus, click on Options, click the “Add your own filters” tab at the top, and in the text field that appears enter ||coin-hive.com/lib/coinhive.min.js and click +Add Filter.
In Firefox, select the Firefox menu (Tools on OS X and Linux), choose Add-ons, and find Adblock Plus. Choose Preferences to access the Adblock Plus profile, click on Filter Preferences, hit “Add filter subscription” and add coin-hive.com/lib/coinhive.min.js.
On Android, open the Adblock Plus application and select Filter Subscription. You can’t select multiple filterlists, so you’ll have to change your filterlist subscription.
This isn’t the first time Adblock has made an opportunistic addition to its tool. Just over a year ago, for example, the company fought Facebook over the site’s anti-ad-blocking initiative. This could very well turn into another cat-and-mouse game one day.