Ahrefs, one of the most popular SEO platforms in the world recently carried out a survey to ascertain the number of websites in their entire domain index that runs cryptocurrency mining scripts. The Ahref index contains over 175 million domains and the survey covered every single one of them.
Before delving into the study carried out Ahrefs, it is necessary to provide a little bit of background information. With the increase in the popularity and value of cryptocurrency, mining operations have become an attractive venture for many people. Crypto mining requires enormous computing power and as such, investors build large mining facilities housing an array of mining rigs.
Of recent, it has been discovered that the computers are being used for crypto mining, unbeknownst to their owners. Apparently, some websites now have crypto mining scripts as once an unsuspecting user visits these sites, a significant portion of their computing potential is hijacked for mining cryptocurrency.
Using a web-service called Wappalyzer, the team at Ahrefs crawled through every single one of the over 175 million websites in its database. The Wappalyzer service is capable of recognizing 14 of the common crypto mining scripts such as Coinhive, JSECoin, and ProjectPoi. Coinhive is one of the most popular crypto mining scripts and has been responsible for a number of high profile website hijacking attempts to mine the Monero cryptocurrency.
Surprisingly, Germany ( .de) topped the list of country TLD with 4.2% of the sites using mining scripts in Ahref’s index. It was followed by Russia ( 2.27 %) and UK ( 2.12 %)
The study revealed 23,872 different domains that were using cryptocurrency mining scripts. This constitutes about 0.0136% of the total number of websites in the Ahref database.
Coinhive unsurprisingly turned out to be the most popular cryptocurrency mining script according to the websites considered in the study. This particular script was found in more than 22,300 websites which amount to approximately 93% of the websites that are running crypto mining scripts.
Examining the pedigree of these websites based on their rankings, the Ahrefs team used its own proprietary Domain Rating (DR) metric. This metric shows the volume of links a website receives from other websites. 220 websites in the top 100K DR ranking were found to be running crypto mining scripts. In terms of percentages, this constitutes only about 0.92% of the total number of websites that were found to have cryptocurrency mining scripts. This, therefore, shows that the overwhelming majority of the websites that run cryptocurrency mining scripts are outside the top tier DR. Some of the top tier websites that were found to have crypto mining scripts include , ovh.net, webnode.com, and main.jp.
Here’s a list of top 100 sites for those who are interested.
When compared with the mammoth size of the web, 23,872 websites does not seem like a lot. This means that the majority of the websites aren’t using malicious crypto mining scripts.
These scripts like Coinhive and the rest can be a nuisance to computer users as their batteries get drained and their CPUs become overworked. There is also the invasive nature of the entire affair that will definitely strike a negative chord in many people. In order to protect your computer from such malicious incursions, users should install anti-crypto mining script browser plugins like No Coin and minerBlock.