back to article Pirate Bay digs itself a new hole: Mining alt-coin in slurper browsers

Bittorrent search engine and mortal enemy of intellectual property lawyers, The Pirate Bay, has upset the one group of people that actually likes it: its users. Over the weekend, visitors to the infamous file-sharing watering hole were surprised to find their browsers working overtime, with their computers' CPU usage rocketing …

  1. Magani
    Mushroom

    What a pack of mendacious mendicants (personal opinion)

    "As you may have noticed we are testing a Monero javascript miner,"

    Isn't it strange that no announcement was made BEFORE the "test", but only after the mushroom-shaped cloud erupted (see icon) from the user base?

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Sigh:

    Just use rarbg.com

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Sigh:

      Just don't use [redacted] steal.

      FTFY

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Sigh:

        Or use it to test a piece of software that you need to do ONE thing. Or to see if a series is any good before i spend real money.

        TFTFY

      2. phuzz Silver badge

        Re: Sigh:

        Or just download something you could already watch on Amazon Prime, because Amazon's web player is rubbish. (Also, they put ads at the start of programs, even after you've spent £80 on prime already)

      3. JulieM Silver badge

        Re: Sigh:

        Stealing is defined as permanently depriving someone of something. That's important. They have to have had something before and not have it afterwards.

        So, what does somebody not have after somebody made a copy of something, that they had before they made the copy?

      4. nubwaxer

        Re: Sigh:

        you know what, some people don't have a DVR and download tv programs included in their cable subscription they either missed or want to watch later.

    2. H.Winter

      Re: Sigh:

      What is this rarbg.com? Never heard of it and when I try to visit it I just get this message

      "

      Content Denied

      Access to this website has been disabled by an order of the Federal Court of Australia because it infringes or facilitates the infringement of copyright.

      1800 086 346 for information.

      "

  3. frank ly

    WTF ?!

    "It turns out that "a typo" caused the mining operation to try to eat up every available cycle, rather than the 20‑30 per cent usage that The Pirate Bay planned for. And the initial installation may also have worked on every tab instance, ..."

    Testing? Much?

  4. Dan 55 Silver badge

    Yay for browsers and JavaScript

    Why do JavaScript interpreters even allow pages to hog CPU? I'd have thought the script engine would be capped or run at a lower priority.

    1. Mark 110

      Re: Yay for browsers and JavaScript

      "I'd have thought the script engine would be capped or run at a lower priority"

      Why? You might want to run an app that used all your cpu as highest priority. You wouldn't expect that to be blocked.

      1. DropBear Silver badge

        Re: Yay for browsers and JavaScript

        Because there can be nothing a browser should ever do that wouldn't be superseded by my need to keep my machine responsive AND the need to keep all adjacent, well-behaving tabs ALSO responsive. As such, any tab that endeavours eating more than 15% of a single core should ask me for the privilege explicitly, by domain, no tabs other than the one I'm looking at should be allowed to execute ANYTHING unless it has special permission from me because it's a background music player or something (also by domain), and the browser itself should never go over 50% or so on a single core, the way Firefox currently eats 100% of my CPU for a full fucking minute every fucking hour as it does now.

      2. tony72

        Re: Yay for browsers and JavaScript

        You'll get downvotes from the luddites around here, who seem to think javascript is the work of the devil, but have an upvote from me. I've played with javascript implementations of emulators, native javascript games, I seem to remember there is even a javascript port of ffmpeg for encoding video in the browser, etc etc. It makes no more sense to cap the cpu utilisation of javascript apps running in the browser than it does to cap the cpu utilisation of native applications; cpu-intensive apps need lots of cpu, wherever they're running, the cpu is there to be used.

        1. Dan 55 Silver badge

          Re: Yay for browsers and JavaScript

          Well it does make sense really, you're running remote code from anywhere and you can't be sure it's not malicious or bug ridden.

        2. unimaginative

          Re: Yay for browsers and JavaScript

          There is a huge difference between code running in the browser and native applications. Assuming they are not malware, native applications are there because they are either part of the OS, or have been installed and started deliberately.

          Something running the the browser is there because someone decided to stick it on a web page. As this incident shows, users may not even know its there. I do not want something I may not want, and may not even know is running hogging my CPU

  5. rmason Silver badge

    I love the part..

    I love the part where a boycott is discussed.

    I'd imagine the typical/average user of that site would accept anything upto and including the owners of TPB nipping round to personally finger them in order to make sure they don't have to pay and/or wait to watch the latest TV etc.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I love the part..

      I'm guessing a lot of people don't want to pay for something that won't get finished.

      e.g. Firefly though there are quite a few other series cancelled before the end or cut short.

  6. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge
    Headmaster

    And that's exactly what Pirate Bay.

    Huh?

    1. Mark 110

      You beat me to it. I think El Reg's subs may have had a late one last night . .

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Happy

    Ker-ching!

    Sweet, will be adding the script to my employer's intranet home page! We block lusers running Task Manager, so they'll never see the CPU use.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    You've got to love TPB...

    One of the few websites left in the world that actually still works fine without:

    .

    ... COOKIES ...

    ... IMAGES ...

    ... JAVASCRIPT ...

    .

    BTW: Is the mining triggered on the .cr / .cd domains or others?

  9. funkenstein

    Re: Protection software spews sensitive data to third parties

    I for one welcome the change. I'd rather help the sites I visit earn money directly, than have a load of tracking ads trying to flog me the same shit I bought last week over and over.

    1. h4rm0ny

      Re: Protection software spews sensitive data to third parties

      >>I'd rather help the sites I visit earn money directly

      So altruistic! How about you actually pay for the content you want from the people who actually make it?

      1. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge

        Re: Protection software spews sensitive data to third parties

        I think he meant he'd welcome that as a change to advert revenue on other more respectable sites.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    you may laugh

    until you see this happening across the board. And not on pirate-terrorists sites. Think mainstream, think majority of web pages. Now, they'll start with "do you want to have ads, or do you want THIS teeeeeny-tiny contribution to our coffers? And then, it'll end up as usual - THIS with ads on top.

    1. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge

      Re: you may laugh

      if this was mainstream all the coins would be mined out pretty quickly

    2. DropBear Silver badge

      Re: you may laugh

      It'll never be "or". You'd be surprised how many recently-Patreon-supported sites pin a "maybe I should remove some ads (but not ALL!)" target to a surprisingly large target figure. If even modestly popular, mostly rather obscure / niche sites make that kind of money off advertising solely due to the traffic generated by their in-crowd (who quite likely never ever click an ad by the way), we'll NEVER get any alternative options to ads.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    ...support the website without seeing porno I am in...

    So this user was pirating porno he was in? This would only hurt his bottom line...

    1. Steve Knox
      Paris Hilton

      Re: ...support the website without seeing porno I am in...

      This would only hurt his bottom line...

      The pirating or the porno?

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    El Reg calculator?

    I'm sure some of those calculations could make it into the El Reg calculator?

  13. the spectacularly refined chap

    15 posts in...

    ...and still no mention of El Reg's claim to be doing exactly this on 1 April. Should have got that patent after all.

  14. h4rm0ny

    >>Surprisingly, however, many netizens seem pretty content with The Pirate Bay leeching their computers' processing energy to make money – especially if it means getting rid of ads.

    Well sure. I mean if it's your parents' electricity bill...

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Surprisingly?

    Surprisingly, however, many netizens seem pretty content with The Pirate Bay leeching their computers' processing energy to make money

    No, not surprisingly, not unlike the cee u en tee-bags that run it, TPB's users are also morons.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Surprisingly?

      Fuck you.

  16. ekky

    When I first heard about the javascript mining scripts, we discussed this being the perfect 'micro-payment' solution for websites rather than Google ads. There goes TPB, blazing the way forward.

  17. ukgnome

    SETI never found aliens

    CRUK never found a cure for cancer

    I wonder if the pirates will find gold?

  18. nubwaxer

    i uninstalled kaspersky and now webroot antivirus pops up a warning that it blocks this coin hive ripoff.

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Power usage

    Mining in JavaScript in a browser sounds horrifically inefficient; I imagine it would be a massive waste of electricity and resources for almost no gain. It sounds like a very dumb reason to cook the planet.

    1. diodesign (Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

      Re: anonymous

      It's mining Monero, a relatively new and lightweight alt-coin that is still really easy to crunch on typical desktops. See the link in the story.

      C.

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