A subscription streaming site owned by mixed martial-arts powerhouse Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) is at the center of the latest controversy around clandestine, browser-based cryptocurrency mining.
Multiple users on social media reported yesterday that code developed by CoinHive – a monero mining script that can be embedded in a web page – was found in the code on the UFC’s Fight Pass streaming site. It’s unclear at this time where the code was sourced from, and a customer support staffer for UFC told CoinDesk that “we take these matters very seriously, and will review this.”
Users found lines of code for CoinHive’s mining script in the HTML for the page, as shown in two differentscreengrabs shared to Imgur.
The software was also spotted running by several users, included one who later flagged it on on Twitter. After one reddit user emailed UFC support about it, he got a response saying that they were looking into it. The attention that the situation attracted appears to have spurred UFC to action, as the script was ultimately removed, according to another post.
None of the screencaptures on the Internet Archive from yesterday show the script in the source code on UFC.com, but the captures from yesterday were made after these reports started coming out.
Though the UFC has yet to follow up publicly, the move represents the latest instance in which a well-known site played unwitting host to the CoinHive script, which utilizes a user’s computer capacity to mine the privacy-oriented cryptocurrency monero.
A streaming service run by Showtime previously found Coinhive code running on its sites, and web security firm Cloudflare has expressed its intent to crack down on sites that add mining software to sites without first notifying users.
UFC fighter Vitor Belfort via Shutterstock.
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