UFC Fight Pass and Steem Witness caught secretly mining cryptocurrency on their paid service

in cryptocurrency •  7 months ago

UFC recently was caught running a crypto miner on their website without an opt-in or opt-out. UFC is the number one provider of MMA pay per view content.


Source

UFC targetted users who already were paying $9.99/month for a subscription. If someone pays or not isn't really the issue, it is very unethical to run a coin miner on a website without having an option to opt-in initially and an option to opt-out freely.

UFC silently removed the coin miner with no official announcement or apology.

Coin miners typically don't produce much for site owners. Due to low return and high electricity costs, coin miners cost far more for visitors than the site operators earn.

A recent article on Torrent Freak talked about the results ThePirateBay saw with their 315 million monthly visitors. In the article they estimated around $12,000 a month from the coin miner alone.

Most sites will likely see less than $10 a month in revenue and will likely cost end users 5x that.

This issue is an on-going problem and has even affected Steemit. Steem.Supply, a site run by @dragosroua (#61 Witness) also silently mines coins using a coin miner without opt-in or opt-out.


Original discovered by @fknmayhem

We hope, and hopefully expect, more transparency from witnesses.

This has become a common thing as cryptocurrencies rapidly rise in price and will not be stopping anytime soon.

Fortunately a good ad blocker will prevent this, unfortunately, most of the ad blockers are being paid off to whitelist garbage as it is very lucrative to do so.

If you want a customizable, effective, and unbiased ad-blocker check out ublock Origin. It is available on both Chrome and Firefox.






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I already answered about this in another thread.

There is a banner showing that the site is monetized using JSEcoin, so your stance that I don't warn users doesn't hold true. I wrote a few times about JSEcoin, which is a coin in beta,not even trading in exchanges, so I'm not scamming and I'm not making money off of innocent people. I am helping JSEcoin as a beta-tester and I do show that banner as a full disclosure. It's a decentralized cryptocurrency, created and maintained by a transparent company, which publishes their balances at the end of each month.

also silently mines coins

I find your accusation that "this affected Steemit" exaggerated. Can you tell me how exactly I scam people? What is the difference between CPU cycles for a currency launched 3 months ago, still in beta, not even trading in exchanges, and the CPU cycles consumed for Google Analytics, Facebook or Twitter SDKs, which, most of the time don't warn users at all that their behavioral content consumption patterns are profiled and then sold to advertisers?

[self voted to bump]

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The "banner" disappears fairly quickly, by the time you scroll to the bottom of the page it is no longer visible. It doesn't even show up most of the time even if you scroll down immediately and most users won't even know better.

Mining coins use a lot more CPU cycles than google analytics, I'd guess 1000x more and not just one short burst, continuous. To compare the two is absurd. Mining is an extremely intensive process and costs a lot in electricity, and will cost far more in electricity than you make on the coin (if it had an exchange and was trading). I know nothing of the JSEcoin project.

In bird culture, mining for coins on someone's machine without asking for is generally considered a dick move. It is unethical and invasive.

"this affected Steemit" refers to community, sorry if that was not clear. I was taking the UFC situation and "bringing it close to home".

I only noticed that other post after I wrote mine, it was mentioned to me by someone else, I didn't even see you responded there until now when you linked it. I would have referenced it if I saw it beforehand. I knew of the Steem.supply issue before I wrote the post but when I saw UFC doing it, I decided to write about it. I previously wrote about your site and recommended it as a cool resource, but once I found out about the miner, I felt it needed an update.

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Mining is an extremely intensive process and costs a lot in electricity, and will cost far more in electricity than you make on the coin (if it had an exchange and was trading). I know nothing of the JSEcoin project.

The paragraph above is highly oxymoronic. If you know nothing about the JSEcoin how can you assume mining JSEcoin is an extremely intensive process? Do you even know what you're talking about? I don't ask this in a derogatory way, I'm simply curious.

In bird culture, mining for coins on someone's machine without asking for is generally considered a dick move. It is unethical and invasive.

If you read the initial post then - hopefully - you'd realize it's an experiment with a coin that I find interesting. And yes, I announced it publicly that I'm going to do this. As for "unethical" and "scammy" are you even aware how many people are calling Steemit a scam? From Tone Vays up to your next door neighbor I think the vast majority thinks you're in some kind of pyramid scheme. From this position I think you should lower your judgement bar significantly. How can you expect crypto-currencies to evolve and how do you hope to live in a decentralized world if any new project is qualified as scam (I'm talking specifically about browser mining here) and if you accuse - without proof - people who choose to be visible and get involved in this community by supporting the network with their own time, skills and resources?

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The paragraph above is highly oxymoronic. If you know nothing about the JSEcoin how can you assume mining JSEcoin is an extremely intensive process? Do you even know what you're talking about? I don't ask this in a derogatory way, I'm simply curious.

As someone who has 36 GPU's mining crypto and spending over $1,000 a month in electricity, I believe I have some idea of what I am talking about. I am not familiar with JSECoin, but I know mining quite well. My setup is not only automated it is self-healing.

If you read the initial post then - hopefully - you'd realize it's an experiment with a coin that I find interesting. And yes, I announced it publicly that I'm going to do this. As for "unethical" and "scammy" are you even aware how many people are calling Steemit a scam? From Tone Vays up to your next door neighbor I think the vast majority thinks you're in some kind of pyramid scheme. From this position I think you should lower your judgement bar significantly. How can you expect crypto-currencies to evolve and how do you hope to live in a decentralized world if any new project is qualified as scam (I'm talking specifically about browser mining here) and if you accuse - without proof - people who choose to be visible and get involved in this community by supporting the network with their own time, skills and resources?

An "experiment" that's been running for "more than 2 months", as pointed out by your response post. As for Steemit being a scam, I have absolutely no argument about that. It is the first reaction for most everyone.

From this position I think you should lower your judgement bar significantly.

You're a witness, a decently high one at that, the bar should be higher.

In no way did I try to paint you as a villain, and as you can see in my post and my responses I didn't grandstand or overdramatize it. I still stand by my original statements.

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It was your turn to make me chuckle. It's the second time you're oxymoronic:

I am not familiar with JSECoin, but I know mining quite well.

:))

Peace!

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This:

You're a witness, a decently high one at that, the bar should be higher.

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@dragosroua, I have used your site multiple times in the past, either it would load the page, or if it loads, it eats so much of my bandwidth, which is not a good thing for a person who has bought bandwidth for a good price.

You just got my witness vote. Thank you for writing this post. I had no idea a witness was running a coin miner on a Steem site. Pretty shocking. But what I am most shocked by is the arrogance and total disregard for you and the concerns you raised for the innocent people who don't even know about coin mining. I think the coin miner should be removed and the only way it should be allowed to be on there is with an opt-in box, where people are voluntary about giving their cpu power to this experiment.

If nothing is done, then outsiders will think that Steem is connected to underhanded, corrupt people. This reflects very poorly on everyone.

Thanks for writing this, as I would have never known otherwise.

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Thank you.

this goes to show how uneducated I am. I didn't know one could do this....

yes we need more transparency from witnesses. Have resteemed

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If only we could clone themarkymark we'd have a powerful and ethical platform that would bring positive change and hope to so many around the world.

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yes, exactly.

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...and he gets results! There is now a popup with opt-out on the site.

Upvoted, resteemed, and quite shocked.
Thanks for doing the right thing and educating all of us.
More than the actual coin mining itself, I was really surprised to find out that @dragosroua doesn't even understand the concerns and how he is actually harming the reputation of Steem and the community. Most people are not very well educated about crypto stuff, and by using people's cpu, without getting their direct consent (and not even caring about how this is perceived by the average person) it just shows that he will take profits over transparency. This kind of behavior is not something we want witnesses to have, because that means they are easily corrupted by money....

Having been a long-term fan of the UFC, I must say: I'm not surprised muthaf--kers!!!

Wow, I'm glad I stumbled across this; that's pretty out of order opting people in on the sly.

So how exactly does it cost me if I log in to one of these sites?

Thanks
Cg

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Mining is very expensive on CPU which causes a dramatic increase in electricity costs. It's not as demanding as GPU mining, but doing it without permission is pretty dirty.

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OK thanks, and how do I tell if my computer is being used to mine without my knowledge?

Cg

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There is no easy way, the typical way is to look at the source code or seeing unusual CPU usage.

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Wow thanks for this; I really appreciate your answers. I was not even aware it could be done. So I suppose it can only done when you're on the site in question?

Cg

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Yes, only when you have it open and it isn't blocked by an ad blocker or some anti-virus apps. Some sites get really dirty and do some clever things though like open additional tabs in the background.

I've just seen this on one of your other answers :-)

Thanks

Cg

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Oh geez, one more techie type thing I just don't understand. Thanks @markymark for your reply to @cryptogee because that was my first question too. My CPU is high lately, have been closing my browser often and rebooting alot. But I've not been on one of his posts for a while. Is that the only time we have to worry about this particular 'miner' (when we open one of his pages)?

What I have noticed is in the last couple of weeks I have been running out of space on my hard drive, down to 6.0 gb at times. I can delete files and then reboot and most f the time get back to 14.0 gb but would the mining actually effect the hard drive? My problem may have nothing to do with the "miner" but then again, I'd like to know for sure. Thanks for any info you can share

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Thank you for this information.

I don't give a damn about fucking UFC, they are nothing to this community personally. What about this silent Steem fuckup who is taking triple advantage of the network, as a silent ungrateful cunt ?

I'm waiting proposals.

Cheers,

Lucifer

It was crazy to hear that UFC was taking advantage of its watchers. I am glad that I don't have a paid subscription and may think twice about ever getting one. Also very upsetting about steemit users abusing their steem based sites.

Thanks for the info

Upvoted on behalf of @thehumanbot and it's allies, if you are not using your voting power, then see @sanmi on Steemit chat to do some charity and earn curation. And if you are rich, come, be part of this change.

Calling @originalworks :)
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Nice, you got a 33.0% @trafalgar upgoat, thanks to @themarkymark
Want a boost? Minnowbooster's got your back!

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The @OriginalWorks bot has determined this post by @themarkymark to be original material and upvoted(1.5%) it!

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Dang so unethicial. Will the cryptominers always keep running even after you have closed the tab?

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No, they stop unless they open another tab.

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Good to know

This is some disturbing information. Going to share that around.

ublock..utip...ulock...steemit (singing a song :P)

I tried a browser mining sometime back, and my antivirus popped up saying, it was having security threat. Most end user, will not able to find it, if they don't run a solid antivirus.

Great info, thank you

Great works, I wish you success

thnks for the post Mark

Awesome, from self-voting witnesses to corrupt coin mining operations.

Steemit is showing its underbelly in the last few days.

My decision to pull back feels like the right one in light of this.

Congratulations @themarkymark, this post is the fifth most rewarded post (based on pending payouts) in the last 12 hours written by a Superuser account holder (accounts that hold between 1 and 10 Mega Vests). The total number of posts by Superuser account holders during this period was 975 and the total pending payments to posts in this category was $4472.65. To see the full list of highest paid posts across all accounts categories, click here.

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Congratulations! This post has been upvoted from the communal account, @minnowsupport, by Malcolm Reynolds from the Minnow Support Project. It's a witness project run by aggroed, ausbitbank, teamsteem, theprophet0, someguy123, neoxian, followbtcnews/crimsonclad, and netuoso. The goal is to help Steemit grow by supporting Minnows and creating a social network. Please find us in the Peace, Abundance, and Liberty Network (PALnet) Discord Channel. It's a completely public and open space to all members of the Steemit community who voluntarily choose to be there.

This post has received a 0.39 % upvote from @drotto thanks to: @banjo.

Thanks for the ublock tip!

One question, a coin miner is using my processing power to mine only when I have that site open right?

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Yes, only when you have it open and it isn't blocked by an ad blocker or some anti-virus apps. Some sites get really dirty and do some clever things though like open additional tabs in the background.

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Thank you for that clarification!

It really is amazing what lengths some will go to - my personal philosophy - I only earn in such a way that it creates value in the world - not by sucking 5x the value from others.

A sincere thank you for some very usable information .

UFC is the last company that I would suspect of running a secret mining operation, what with the millions of dollars earning they collected every PPV event. $10 per months seems so.. trivial

A more likely explanation would be that the code was probably installed by a disgruntled webmaster, without the management's knowledge. Or, you know, they could always blame hackers.

The section above is exceedingly oxymoronic. On the off chance that you don't know anything about the JSEcoin how might you accept mining JSEcoin is a to a great degree escalated process? Do you even hear what you're saying? I don't ask this disparagingly, I'm just interested.

As somebody who has 36 GPU's mining crypto and spending over $1,000 a month in power, I trust I have some thought of what I am discussing. I am not comfortable with JSECoin, but rather I know mining great. My setup isn't just robotized it is self-mending.

In the event that you read the underlying post then - ideally - you'd understand it's a try different things with a coin that I find intriguing. Also, truly, I declared it freely that I will do this. With respect to "deceptive" and "scammy" would you say you are even mindful what number of individuals are calling Steemit a trick? From Tone Vays up to your nearby neighbor I think by far most supposes you're in some sort of fraudulent business model. From this position I figure you should bring down your judgment bar fundamentally. How might you anticipate that digital forms of money will advance and how would you want to live in a decentralized world if any new undertaking is qualified as trick (I'm speaking particularly about program mining here) and in the event that you blame - without evidence - individuals who be unmistakable and get associated with this group by supporting the system with their own chance, abilities and assets?

A "test" that has been running for "over 2 months", as pointed out by your reaction post. With respect to Steemit being a trick, I have positively no contention about that. It is the principal response for generally everybody.

From this position I figure you should bring down your judgment bar fundamentally.

You're a witness, a fairly high one at that, the bar ought to be higher.

Not the slightest bit did I attempt to paint you as a lowlife, and as should be obvious in my post and my reactions I didn't show off or overdramatize it. Despite everything I remain by my unique explanations.

amazing post thank you so much for sharing

amazing post thank you so much <3

Interesting post keep it up @themarkymark

Someone's about to take a dive...