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Trading Computer Hijacked to Mine Cryptocurrency

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Fairfax VA
Trading Experience: Beginner
Platform: NinjaTrader
Posts: 38 since Dec 2009
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Trading Computer Hijacked to Mine Cryptocurrency

My trading computer has been configured and tuned for performance and it typically runs at less than 10% CPU during the trading day. Recently, I checked the Windows Task Manager and saw that it was running continuously in the high 50s. Checking which process was using the CPU showed that it was the FireFox browser. FireFox was also using an extraordinary amount of memory. After closing FireFox, the CPU usage dropped back to 7%.

I have several most frequently used websites tabbed in my homepage. Rather than isolating the website with all the resource usage, did quick web search and found reports of website owners now using cryptocurrency mining scripts to use the CPU power of the visitors for earning profits. Since they didn't ask my permission, I consider that stealing my CPU and memory.

A little more reading showed that this theft has caused blocking browser addins to be created and made available. Downloaded and installed crypto blockers for FireFox and Chrome. CPU usage has returned to normal levels.

There are many web articles on this subject. This one, 6 Easy Ways To Block Cryptocurrency Mining In Your Web Browser , describes the problem and 6 blockers for various browsers.

To check CPU usage and Process resource usage on a Windows Computer use the Windows Task Manager. Hold down ALT+CTRL+DEL key then select Task Manager. Performance Tab displays resource usage charts. Process Tab displays resource usage by running process.

I believe that the takeaways from the article should be:

1) Some websites are now crypto-mining and it is gaining popularity.

2) Install extensions for your browser(s) that block cryptocurrency mining. A non-mining website could start mining tomorrow. With extensions installed now it won't matter later.

Last edited by JimWalker; March 17th, 2018 at 11:52 AM. Reason: Added takeaways
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