RWTH Aachen University conducted a research study that showed how much revenue can generate the Crypt CoinHive. The miner earns $ 250,000 of Monero profits every month using the computing power of unsuspecting Internet users.
The research revealed that Monero was the coin extracted in 75% of all browser-based cryptocurrency mining cases. The CoinHive organization is responsible for most of them.
"Many security companies have recently identified Coinhive's cryptocurrency service as the most dangerous threat to Web users" said security and investigation reporter Brian Krebs.
CoinHive also has a shortlink version. It redirects you as a normal link, except that it does some hashes (the number is set by the encoder) with your PC before reaching its destination.
Research has found that CoinHive makes a lot of money. Its browser mining botnet represents 1.18 percent of the entire Monero network. The researchers also estimate that it produces 300 XMR (about $ 24,000) per week.
"If we summarize the blocking bonuses of the blocks actually extracted in the observation period of [four] weeks, we find that Coinhive [sic] has earned 1,271 XMR. Similar to other cryptocurrencies, Monero's exchange rate fluctuates heavily, the time of writing an XMR is worth 200 USD, peaking at 400 USD at the beginning of the year.Then, given the current exchange rate, Moneta [sic] Monero mines worth approximately $ 250,000 per month […] "
CoinHive retains for itself 30 percent of the XMR derived from mining procedures, which equates to $ 75,000 a month, or nearly one million dollars a year.
The CoinHive link database shows that there are almost two million active shortcuts. Most of these links redirect users to video streams or file sharing sites, forcing their computers to extract XMR in the redirection process. It is also quite alarming that most of the proceeds are for only 10 users.
"Coinhive's link forwarding service [sic] is dominated by connections of only 10 users, mostly redirecting to streaming video and file sharing sites, and we find that most shortcuts can be solved in a few minutes, however, some links require calculating millions of hashes that is impossible. "
The browser hijacking for encryption has started to grow since market prices have started to rise in 2017. As more and more threats appear on the Internet, users are advised to be extremely careful about which sites they browse, which links they click and which extensions they install, as they could easily be the next victims of exploiting the mining script.