Coinhive Virus

Also Known As: Coinhive malware
Type: Adware
Distribution: Low
Damage level: Medium

Coinhive removal instructions

What is Coinhive?

Coinhive (also knows as XMR Miner) is a service that allows web developers to inject sites with scripts that employ visitors' computers to mine Monero cryptocurrency. The idea behind Coinhive is legitimate and this service itself is not harmful, however, some web developers who employ this service become greedy and take advantage of the system: cryptocurrency is mined without users' consent and use of system resources is not limited by them. As a result, these people often misuse up to 100% of system resources without permission.

Coinhive scam

Coinhive developers provide a JavaScript API that can be injected into any website. Once a visitor opens the site, the script immediately employs system resources to mine cryptocurrency (more information here). As mentioned above, the idea is legitimate - developers have an additional way to monetize their sites, however, some criminals have no bounds. There are various cases in which the Coinhive service is misused. For example, cyber criminals hijack legitimate websites and inject them with Coinhive script. There are also various malicious sites (that users often visit inadvertently) that also use Coinhive. Criminals inject them with scripts that prevent closure of browsing tabs/windows - this, to make users remain on the page for as long as possible. Note that Coinhive provides a feature that allows developers to limit the use of system resources, however, criminals remove this limit, since the more resources are used, the more cryptocurrency is mined. JavaScript is good at making use of computer CPU resources. Therefore, since the limit is removed, CPU use increases to 100% and the system becomes unusable. In addition, the system might crash (possibly leading to permanent data loss) and the CPU can overheat. In summary, the Coinhive service is legitimate, but often abused. Therefore, from the user's point of view, Coinhive is not trustworthy or secure.

As mentioned, users often visit malicious sites inadvertently - they are redirected by potentially unwanted adware-type programs (PUPs). These programs employ tools to deliver banner, pop-up, and other intrusive ads. A pop-up ad is essentially a new browser window in which a specific website is opened. All displayed ads can potentially lead to sites that use Coinhive. In this way, developers promote malicious websites using intrusive advertising. In addition, adware-type apps are likely to gather information relating to users' Internet browsing activity. Collected data might contain private details that developers later share with third parties (potentially, cyber criminals). Research shows that these people misuse private information to generate revenue - behavior that can lead to serious privacy issues or even identity theft. Therefore, the presence of a data-tracking app on your system might lead to serious privacy issues or even identity theft. Adware-type PUPs must be eliminated immediately.

Most adware-type applications are virtually identical. These programs offer "useful features" just to give the impression of legitimacy and trick users to install. Following infiltration, however, they deliver no real value for regular users. Their only purpose is to generate revenue for the developers, deliver intrusive advertisements, and record sensitive data.

How did potentially unwanted programs install on my computer?

To proliferate adware, developers use the aforementioned intrusive advertising and a deceptive marketing method called "bundling". Intrusive ads can lead to malicious websites and execute scripts that download and install malware/PUPs. "Bundling" is stealth installation of potentially unwanted programs with regular software/apps. Developers hide "bundled" apps within various sections (e.g., "Custom/Advanced" settings) of the download or installation processes. Furthermore, many users click intrusive ads and skip download/installation steps. This behavior often leads to inadvertent installation of potentially unwanted programs. In this way, users often expose their systems to risk of various infections and compromise their privacy.

How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications?

The main reasons for computer infections are poor knowledge and careless behavior - the key to safety is caution. Therefore, to prevent system infiltration by PUPs, be very cautious when browsing the Internet and especially when downloading/installing software. Criminals ensure that intrusive ads appear legitimate and, thus, it is extremely difficult to determine if they are genuine. Once clicked, however, they redirect to suspicious sites such as gambling, adult dating, pornography, or those that diminish system performance significantly. If you encounter these redirects, immediately remove all dubious applications and browser plug-ins. Remember also to carefully analyze each window of the download/installation dialogs, opt-out of all additionally-included programs and decline offers to download/install them. We also recommend that you download your apps from official sources only, using direct download links. Third party downloaders/installers are monetized using the "bundling" method and, therefore, these tools should not be used. Having a legitimate anti-virus/anti-spyware suite installed is also paramount.

Usage of computer CPU once a website with Coinhive script is opened:

CPU usage when visiting a site that uses Coinhive script

Example of a website that uses Coinhive script (and doesn't disclose it to their users):

Coinhive script using website

A deceptive free weather widget for websites that mines Monero cryptocurrency (via Conhive) when users visit the site that implemented it:

weather widget for websites with a coinhive code

Instant automatic removal of Coinhive malware: Manual threat removal might be a lengthy and complicated process that requires advanced computer skills. Spyhunter is a professional automatic malware removal tool that is recommended to get rid of Coinhive malware. Download it by clicking the button below:
▼ DOWNLOAD Spyhunter By downloading any software listed on this website you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. Free scanner checks if your computer is infected. To remove malware, you have to purchase the full version of Spyhunter.

Quick menu:

Removal of potentially unwanted programs:

Windows 7 users:

Accessing Programs and Features (uninstall) in Windows 7

Click Start (Windows Logo at the bottom left corner of your desktop), choose Control Panel. Locate Programs and click Uninstall a program.

Windows XP users:

Accessing Add or Remove Programs in Windows XP

Click Start, choose Settings and click Control Panel. Locate and click Add or Remove Programs.

Windows 10 and Windows 8 users:

Accessing Programs and Features (uninstall) in Windows 8

Right-click in the lower left corner of the screen, in the Quick Access Menu select Control Panel. In the opened window choose Programs and Features.

Mac OSX users:

Uninstall app in OSX (Mac)

Click Finder, in the opened screen select Applications. Drag the app from the Applications folder to the Trash (located in your Dock), then right click the Trash icon and select Empty Trash.

Coinhive adware uninstall via Control Panel

In the uninstall programs window, look for any suspicious/recently-installed applications, select these entries and click "Uninstall" or "Remove".

After uninstalling the potentially unwanted program, scan your computer for any remaining unwanted components or possible malware infections. To scan your computer, use recommended malware removal software.

Remove rogue extensions from Internet browsers:

Video showing how to remove potentially unwanted browser add-ons:

Internet Explorer logoRemove malicious add-ons from Internet Explorer:

Removing rogue extensions from Internet Explorer step 1

Click the "gear" icon Internet Explorer options icon (at the top right corner of Internet Explorer), select "Manage Add-ons". Look for any recently-installed suspicious browser extensions, select these entries and click "Remove".

Removing rogue extensions from Internet Explorer step 2

Optional method:

If you continue to have problems with removal of the coinhive malware, reset your Internet Explorer settings to default.

Windows XP users: Click Start, click Run, in the opened window type inetcpl.cpl In the opened window click the Advanced tab, then click Reset.

Resetting Internet Explorer settings to default on Windows XP

Windows Vista and Windows 7 users: Click the Windows logo, in the start search box type inetcpl.cpl and click enter. In the opened window click the Advanced tab, then click Reset.

Resetting Internet Explorer settings to default on Windows 7

Windows 8 users: Open Internet Explorer and click the gear icon. Select Internet Options.

Reseting Internet Explorer settings to default in Windows 8 - accessing

In the opened window, select the Advanced tab.

Resetting Internet Explorer settings to default on Windows 8 - Internet options advanced tab

Click the Reset button.

Resetting Internet Explorer settings to default on Windows 8 - click the Reset button in the Internet options advanced tab

Confirm that you wish to reset Internet Explorer settings to default by clicking the Reset button.

Resetting Internet Explorer settings to default on Windows 8 - confirm settings reset to default by clicking the reset button

Google Chrome logoRemove malicious extensions from Google Chrome:

Removing rogue extensions from Google Chrome step 1

Click the Chrome menu icon Google Chrome menu icon (at the top right corner of Google Chrome), select "More tools" and click "Extensions". Locate all recently-installed suspicious browser add-ons, select these entries and click the trash can icon.

Removing rogue extensions from Google Chrome step 2

Optional method:

If you continue to have problems with removal of the coinhive malware, reset your Google Chrome browser settings. Click the Chrome menu icon Google Chrome menu icon (at the top right corner of Google Chrome) and select Settings. Scroll down to the bottom of the screen. Click the Advanced… link.

Google Chrome settings reset step 1

After scrolling to the bottom of the screen, click the Reset (Restore settings to their original defaults) button.

Google Chrome settings reset step 2

In the opened window, confirm that you wish to reset Google Chrome settings to default by clicking the Reset button.

Google Chrome settings reset step 3

Mozilla Firefox logoRemove malicious plug-ins from Mozilla Firefox:

Removing rogue extensions from Mozilla Firefox step 1

Click the Firefox menu firefox menu icon (at the top right corner of the main window), select "Add-ons". Click "Extensions", in the opened window, remove all recently-installed suspicious browser plug-ins.

Removing rogue extensions from Mozilla Firefox step 2

Optional method:

Computer users who have problems with coinhive malware removal can reset their Mozilla Firefox settings.

Open Mozilla Firefox, at the top right corner of the main window, click the Firefox menu, firefox menu icon in the opened menu, click Help.

Accessing settings (Reset Firefox to default settings step 1)

Select Troubleshooting Information.

Accessing Troubleshooting Information (Reset Firefox to default settings step 2)

In the opened window, click the Refresh Firefox button.

Clicking on Refresh Firefox button (Reset Firefox to default settings step 3)

In the opened window, confirm that you wish to reset Mozilla Firefox settings to default by clicking the Refresh Firefox button.

Confirm your want to reset Firefox settings to default (Reset Firefox to default settings step 4)

safari browser logoRemove malicious extensions from Safari:

removing adware from safari step 1 - accessing preferences

Make sure your Safari browser is active, click Safari menu, and select Preferences....

removing adware from safari step 2 - removing extensions

In the opened window click Extensions, locate any recently installed suspicious extension, select it and click Uninstall.

Optional method:

Make sure your Safari browser is active and click on Safari menu. From the drop down menu select Clear History and Website Data...

resetting safari step 1

In the opened window select all history and click the Clear History button.

resetting safari step 2

Microsoft Edge logoRemove malicious add-ons from Microsoft Edge:

Removing browser hijackers from Microsoft Edge step 1

Click the three horizontal dots icon edge more icon (at the top right corner of Microsoft Edge), select "Extensions". Look for any recently-installed suspicious extensions, right click your mouse on these entries and click "Uninstall".

Removing browser hijackers from Microsoft Edge step 2

Optional method:

Click the three horizontal dots icon edge more icon (at the top right corner of Microsoft Edge), and select Settings.

Resetting Microsoft Edge settings step 1

In the opened tab, click the "Choose what to clear" button.

Resetting Microsoft Edge settings step 2

Click Show more and select everything, and then click the "Clear" button.

Resetting Microsoft Edge settings step 3

  • If this didn't help, please follow these alternative instructions explaining how to reset Microsoft Edge browser.

Summary:

declining installation of adware while downloading free software sampleCommonly, adware or potentially unwanted applications infiltrate Internet browsers through free software downloads. Note that the safest source for downloading free software is via developers' websites only. To avoid installation of adware, be very attentive when downloading and installing free software. When installing previously-downloaded free programs, choose the custom or advanced installation options – this step will reveal any potentially unwanted applications listed for installation together with your chosen free program.

Removal assistance:
If you are experiencing problems while trying to remove coinhive malware from your computer, please ask for assistance in our malware support forum.

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