A recent trend I noticed in traffic exchanges – particularly autosurfs – is sites loaded with web miners. These are scripts which utilize your computer’s CPU power to “mine” cryptocurrency. They are usually not viruses, and closing the offending site is enough to stop the mining process and the associated CPU usage spike – however, they still stall the traffic exchange’s timer and make your computer unresponsive.
Blocking browser mining is necessary for smooth TE surfing. Before we proceed, there are two points I want to make:
- Web miners are against the rules of every TE I’m a member of, whether auto or manual. How quickly they get removed from rotation depends on the team behind that particular exchange – if they employ moderators or run automated site checking which detects malicious scripts, it’ll happen sooner. Point is, there’s no problem with TEs themselves, just a few people who are looking to exploit them.
Thus, this tip only applies to the brave people surfing without NoScript, to exchanges which disallow script blocking plugins (eBesucher), or the ones using standalone surfing apps (e.g. BigHits4U) where you can’t install any add-ons. When more elegant solutions are unavailable, you can still edit the Windows hosts file to block browser mining for every application on the computer. The file sits in the following location:
It is an extensionless text file which can be edited using Notepad running in Administrator mode. Simply start a new line and paste the offending websites using the following format:
CoinHive is only the most popular web miner – a more exhaustive list can be found at the following URL (please note, I’m not the one maintaining the list and am not affiliated with it in any way):
After pasting the entire list into your hosts file and saving, most known browser mining websites will be blocked, and you should have a better autosurfing experience.