Yandex company blog

Yandex Browser Strengthens Cryptocurrency Mining Protection

14 March, 15:21

Earlier this week, we announced (in Russian) that Yandex Browser strengthened its protection against cryptocurrency mining worldwide for desktop, iOS, and Android.  This Yandex Browser update automatically detects and blocks mining scripts that are embedded in websites to maliciously use a website visitor’s computing power to mine cryptocurrency.

As a browser provider for millions of users across the world, we have a responsibility to always maintain a safe and reliable product and to ensure a high-quality online browsing experience for users. Since the launch of Yandex Browser in 2012, we have continuously updated our product to protect our users against emerging threats on the Internet. 

Back in November 2017, we began our work to address rising issues with cryptocurrency mining by blocking identified mining scripts.  When a user visits a website with mining scripts, the scripts discreetly take the user’s desktop or smartphone computing power to mine cryptocurrency, resulting in high load on the CPU - up to 100%-  which makes devices slow down, consume more energy, and overheat.

Last Fall, the Browser team started to protect users against mining by blocking a compiled a list of mining scripts. However, almost every week new scripts appeared and the growing list required constant updates.

Now Yandex Browser automatically protects against mining scripts by analyzing the load on the user's CPU. This method automates the blocking of new scripts.

Yandex Browser analyzes the processor load while browsing and increased loads flag the site for potentially including a mining script. If an automated scan then confirms the presence of a mining script, Yandex Browser will automatically block the script. The website will continue to function for the user but miners will no longer be able to use the website visitors’ devices for mining.

Users can download Yandex Browser in the iOS or Android app stores.