Opera has added protection against unsolicited cryptocurrency mining into the latest version of its browser, saving users’ system resources and bandwidth.
As cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin rise in value and popularity, while the resources needed to mine new coins increase, some attackers have sought to use ordinary web users’ systems to share the load.
There have been reports of website scripts and even public Wi-Fi networks issuing instructions to mine for these currencies on vulnerable devices.
Now Opera is deploying its ad-blocking technology to combat against these scripts. The new ‘NoCoin’ setting, when enabled, prevents mining scripts from running in the same way ads are blocked.
“After we recently updated the rules for our built-in ad blocker mechanism, we eliminated cryptocurrency mining scripts that overuse your device’s computing ability,” said Opera. “Simply enable Opera’s ad blocker to prevent cryptocurrency mining sites from doing their dirty work on your computer.”
Opera 50 also adds enhanced support for 26-degree virtual reality on Chromecast and Oculus in the first major update since the ‘Reborn’ Opera arrived in November.
Opera 49 promised to allow desktop users to use the Internet as if they were using a smartphone by adding support for more chat services, virtual reality (VR) and ‘selfie’ shots.
The first version of ‘Opera Reborn’, based on the Neon concept browser, was released in May with the company claiming that desktop browsers hadn’t kept up with how users interact with the web on their mobile devices.
Reborn would achieve this, it claimed, by integrating popular instant messenger services and instant editing tools which don’t require the user to leave the browser.