This morning we were alerted to a possible problem with local internet culture website Memeburn.

Upon loading the website we noticed that our CPU usage climbed to 100% in a matter of seconds. A closer look at the website reveals that Memeburn is running a Javascript-based cryptocurrency miner on its website.

That miner is none other than Coinhive, the same software that The Pirate Bay was testing a few days ago. Those familiar with the matter will be aware that users responded with anger at the revelation that their systems were being used by the file sharing site to make profits.

Memeburn’s source code with a script for Coinhive.

Memeburn has since taken the website offline and issued the following response of Facebook.

It’s worth noting that Coinhive’s documentation outlines that website owners should let users know their browser is being used to mine cryptocurrency.

” The miner itself does not come with a UI – it’s your responsibility to tell your users what’s going on and to provide stats on mined hashes. While it’s possible to run the miner without informing your users, we strongly advise against it. You know this. Long term goodwill of your users is much more important than any short term profits,” reads the documentation.

At this stage it looks like the software was placed there unintentionally but we are still awaiting a response from Memeburn to confirm this.

[Image – CC BY SA 2.0 Matthias Guntrum]