Reports: Showtime Websites Used to Secretly Mine Cryptocurrency

Stan Higgins
Sep 27, 2017 at 10:00 UTC
NEWS

American TV network Showtime has been forced to remove code from two of its websites that secretly mined the privacy oriented cryptocurrency monero on visitors' computers, according to reports.

Gizmodo and The Register both indicate that two websites run by Showtime – the eponymous Showtime.com, as well as ShowtimeAnytime.com – had concealed code for CoinHive, a JavaScript-based monero miner. Originally intended as a way for websites to generate income without having to utilize ads, in this case the software appears to have been used to covertly draw upon the computing power of unsuspecting site visitors.

BleepingComputer, which covers cybersecurity topics, has detailed the inner workings of the situation. As the site highlights, it's not clear at this time who, exactly, inserted the code onto the Showtime websites. Neither is it certain how long the code was live on the Showtime sites. The code was spotted over the weekend and was removed by the firm Monday.

Thus far, Showtime hasn't commented publicly on the news, and a representative for the network declined to comment when contacted by CoinDesk.

The developments are notable given the public profile of Showtime, which is owned by U.S. media giant CBS Corporation. It also comes days after torrent website The Pirate Bay sparked criticism for (in this case, voluntarily) live-testing a JavaScript-based monero miner.

Nuts and bolts image via Shutterstock

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