Mozilla has released an update for its Firefox browser which includes an option to block cryptocurrency mining scripts on websites.
The option is being offered alongside control of cookies and trackers in the “Privacy & Security” tab of the browser, where users can now also choose to tick a box that prevents “cryptominers” from running, Mozilla announced on its blog Tuesday.
Crypto-mining scripts on websites run in the browser, normally without users’ knowledge or consent, using the power of the computer processor to mine cryptocurrency for hackers’ personal gain.
“These scripts slow down your computer, drain your battery and rack up your electric bill,” Mozilla said.
The option to block mining scripts has been available in beta since the feature’s initial launch in April, with Mozilla partnering with cybersecurity firm Disconnect for the service.
Mozilla revealed its plan to offer the feature last August, saying its goal was to prevent third-party scripts from hampering the user experience. Web browser Opera also offers miner protection in its smartphone version, while Google’s Chrome has banned miners from its extensions.
Illicit crypto mining, sometimes called crypto-jacking, is fast gaining in popularity with criminals (there are more legitimate uses too). The code that carries out the task of mining can be propagated by malware and placed directly within computer systems, or it can be placed on websites by hackers to mine using victims’ machines through browsers.
A report from Skybox Security last year found that the method now account for 32 percent of all cyberattacks, while ransomware only makes up 8 percent.
In 2017, Skybox found that the situation was almost exactly reversed. While ransomware attacks – in which the data on an individual’s computer is encrypted by malware and only unlocked upon payment of a fee – made up 32 percent of all attacks, cryptojacking represented 7 percent of the total at the time.
OKEx blog explains why more crypto-traders are looking into sharpe ratios
When you are dealing with cryptocurrencies and its financial ecosystem, one has to be calculative and consider volatility and major price swings as an important factor before making any investments.
Sharpe Ratio, a measurement tool which is regularly used in the traditional financial markets, allows traders and investors to assess the return on investment in comparison to the risk involved.
In a recent blog post released by OKEx exchange, it explained how the tool was essential in analyzing the risk involved while investing in virtual assets.
In the last few years, more investors have started to use Sharpe ratio to have a better understanding of risk associated with cryptos. The post explained that Sharpe ratio of a virtual asset measured the return of investment per unit of deviation in a financial asset to identify trading strategy involving the risk.
A ratio of 3.0 or higher was considered extremely positive, while a negative Sharpe ratio would indicate that the risk involved in the asset fairly surpassed the profit associated.
According to the post, out of the all the major-listed coins on OKEx, surprisingly IOST had a 30-day Sharpe ratio above 2.0 however, IOST had a negative ratio over a 90-day period which indicated higher risk in the long term.
It was also reported that BTC had a positive 90-day Sharpe ratio which was recorded to be 1.59, while XRP had a negative ratio over a 90-day period which indicated that BTC was a better investment on paper.
The Sharpe ratio is beneficial in evaluating risk of an asset but it does not dictate price movement of a virtual asset.
BBC Journalist Warns Crypto Traders After Losing $30K in Critical Mistake
A BBC journalist is sharing his story on how he lost $30,000 in Ethereum (ETH) in an effort to try and educate crypto newbies.
Business reporter Monty Munford says he decided to buy the second-largest cryptocurrency by market cap in mid-2017.
“I chose it not for any other reason than it was second to Bitcoin by valuation and looked like it could emulate that 100,000% rise. So in the middle of 2017, I made some investments, figuring that it was a long-term plan and might even become a nest egg for a pension.”
Munford says the experience was “utterly terrifying” and after buying his Ethereum, he read about the frequency of crypto exchange hacks and decided to move his crypto to a wallet for safekeeping.
He chose MyEtherWallet and obtained the private key to his holdings – the string of letters and numbers he needed to access his crypto.
But then came the crucial mistake. Munford says he wrote the private key on a piece of paper and stored it in his Gmail drafts folder, so that he could access his crypto with ease. When the price of Ethereum shot up in late 2017, he decided to check his holdings, only to discover that all of his crypto had been moved to another address.
Munford contacted the US-based blockchain forensics company CipherBlade, and sent the results to Binance.
“The following morning I was contacted by Sussex’s cybercrime unit, my local force, and within a week they had received useful information from Binance. The unit tracked IP addresses to a telecoms company in the Netherlands, but there weren’t any personal identification details to be had – perhaps unsurprisingly.
The investigations continue, and my money remains stolen.”
Crypto thieves likely used a phishing scam to access Munford’s email or used malware to gain access to his computer, monitor his keystrokes and copy/paste his activities. Either way, Munford says he’s telling his story to let others know how careful they need to be with their private keys.
“So I’m left with my fingers burned, feeling like I wandered into a savage bazaar where criminals can pick your pocket at will. And get away with it. Please learn from my mistakes.”
What Caused the Abrupt Dissolving of Barclays’ 15 Month Relationship with Coinbase Crypto Exchange?
Latest reports confirm Barclays has ended its relationship with Coinbase, ending one of the crypto’s most fascinating partnerships, in mysterious circumstances.
The exchange replaced the household bank’s withdrawal and deposit functionalities by opening an account with a rising prodigy in U.K’s banking industry, Clearbank. While no official reports have sufficed we look at possible explanations why the two ended their relationship.
BEG reported in March 2018, a highly publicized partnership between Barclays and top crypto exchange, Coinbase, to connect the latter to the U.K. Faster Payments Scheme (FPS). This allowed U.K customers an instant platform to buy and sell cryptocurrencies on the exchange using the British Pound.
Following the dissolved partnership, U.K customers are witnessing slower transactions using the GBP. As at time of writing, neither company has commented on the matter.
Barclays low risk appetite or a mutual goodbye?
While the cause of dissolving the partnership still remains unclear, one insider familiar with the matter claims the bank’s “low risk appetite” for the crypto industry in general caused the split. He said,
“It is my understanding that Barclays’ risk appetite has contracted a little – I’m not sure exactly why or what’s been driving that, maybe there has been some activity they are not happy with.”
The CEO of a crypto company in the U.K further claims the bank does not have the stomach for any crypto company – at least at the moment. He said,
“But it’s about Barclays’ comfort level with crypto as a whole.”
A mutual goodbye…
However, different reports from Coindesk confirms that the two companies came to a mutual agreement to end the partnership citing the partnership had completed its work. This aligns with the recent developments– such as the addition of several cryptocurrencies – seen at Coinbase in the past few months.
Given the strict regulations that Barclays placed on the listing requirements of cryptos, the exchange is now adding quite a number of tokens on its platform following the split with Barclays. However, Clearbank, is not giving the exchange a freepass as it already sanctioned the removal of privacy coin, ZCash (ZEC) from the platform.
Barclays however have been showing signs of leaving the crypto sector with the bank temporarily closing the cryptocurrency trading desk in late October 2018.