If your computer has been running slower than normal recently, you might have been the victim of cryptojacking, a controversial new practice in which hackers and other unauthorized individuals tap into your computer’s processing power in order to mine for cryptocurrencies. The most highly-publicized cases have been those involving the company Coinhive and the Monero cryptocurrency. The logic, from the perspective of hackers, is simple: the more computers they can use to mine these near-mythical cryptocoins, the more money they can make.
In order to circumvent ad blockers and other forms of malware blockers, hackers sometimes invent creative new ways to create new windows and tabs right on your computer. They are, in essence, mining for cryptocurrency right in your browser window as you’re going about your daily business of checking emails and leaving comments on Facebook.