Japan Convicts Cryptojacker Who Misled Victims Over Monero Mining

As local daily news outlet The Mainichi reported on Feb. 7, the Tokyo High Court overturned a previous ruling which cleared the man, who was not named, of any wrongdoing.

A Japanese court has demanded a man who infected website visitors with cryptocurrency mining malware face justice – after acquitting him.

Visitors “not informed” of malware

According to the original indictment, the 32-year-old web designer installed the Coinhive miner on his own website in October 2017. It was active for a month, using visitors’ devices to mine cryptocurrency for his own benefit – a practice known as “cryptojacking.”

The man then faced legal consequences in March 2018 but ultimately avoided punishment. At the time, lawmakers explained that a failure to warn him before indicting him was to blame. The High Court, however, disagreed.

“Visitors were not informed of (the mining program) or given the chance to reject it”, The Mainichi quoted Presiding Judge Tsutomu Tochigi as saying.

It remains unknown how much the website owner made in illicit proceeds during the brief period that Coinhive was active.

Coinhive long gone but threat remains

As Cointelegraph reported, Coinhive itself shut down last year, having reportedly become economically unviable.

Its fortunes appeared closely tied to those of privacy-focused altcoin, Monero (XMR), a favorite of mining programs that attackers use to carry out covert activities. Monero saw a significant drop in value in 2018, while a hard fork further complicated matters for Coinhive.

By comparison, the service was active on over 300 websites as of May 2018, statistics reported at the time.

Cryptojacking remains a serious problem worldwide, with Interpol last month partnering with a cybersecurity firm Trend Micro in a fresh bid to tackle the issue.

It’s Never Been Harder to Mine Bitcoin as Hash Rate Hits New Highs

The mean hash rate of the Bitcoin network has hit new all-time highs to mark the cryptocurrency’s latest technical achievement, fresh data suggests.

Compiled by monitoring resource Glassnode, a new analysis of Bitcoin’s historical hash rate shows that on Jan. 7, the mean value reached 119 quintillion hashes per second – its best ever at the time.

Consensus on BTC hash rate record

Hash rate refers to the amount of computing power miners are using to validate the Bitcoin blockchain. The more power, the more notionally secure the blockchain is. A large hash rate can also be taken as a statement of the attractiveness of mining for participants.

Glassnode’s reading derives from the one-day moving average hash rate calculation. While the hash rate is impossible to measure exactly, the data supports other estimates showing the metric hit new records in recent weeks and months.

As Cointelegraph reported, various statistics resources have confirmed the uptrend, with the highest reading approaching 150 quintillion hashes per second this week.

Progress has been swift. According to Glassnode, the mean hash rate low of 36 quintillion hashes per second – which formed the basis for recent growth – occurred in late April 2019.

Difficulty set for another 6% surge

This year, meanwhile, Bitcoin has already exhibited multiple signs a bullish transformation is once again underway. Alongside hash rate, commentators have highlighted increased trading activity among Bitcoin futures investors.

Mining difficulty, which had previously been in decline, is now increasing. Last week, the metric progressed 6%, while another 6-7% is on the cards at the next adjustment in nine days’ time.

Anticipation has also been building around Bitcoin price action for the coming twelve months, with industry figures going on record to predict new all-time highs for BTC/USD before 2021.

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