Why is my CPU so busy? Websites Stealing CPUs Without Your Consent

The Digital Trade-Off: Advertisements or CPUs?

When spending time online you are a set of eyeballs being used for marketing dollars in a multi-billion dollar advertising world. Evidently, those ads are not enough to keep websites afloat these days. These website companies are getting even more creative with ways to monetize their web traffic. One of the newer and more controversial methods is to use JavaScript or other code embedded in the website to steal some of your extra CPU cycles.

Consider this. Most desktops are pretty bored all day long, humming along at just 20-30% utilization. Why not just steal some extra percentages and send that compute off to a provider that needs it?  Think of it as crowdsourcing your CPU off to do… what exactly?

Recently a website called The Pirate Bay (often used for providing copywritten materials for free, something I don’t recommend) started using this tactic to steal CPUs and send it off for bit mining. Bit mining is the process of contributing the CPUs needed to keep cryptocurrency markets, like BitCoin, afloat.

Don’t feel like having your computer be a part of the collective? Try some Chrome extensions that set to block JavaScript and Bitcoin mining. I have been trying out Miner Block and Sybu JavaScript Blocker. I have not used these extensions for very long, but I’ve generally find web pages loading faster… and there is just something appealing about watching it block Google Analytics tracking codes.