Web mining is a method of cryptomining that takes advantage of web visitors by transforming the capacity of their devices into crypto currencies while the browser is on or running in the background.
In some cases, the page may notify and ask the user for consent. In that case, it explains that mining is to monetize the web and that there is no need for advertisements or paid subscriptions.
In one way or another, web mining (or cryptojacking) is a threat that many users can be exposed to without hardly realizing it. They would only know if they checked the source code of a web page or if they noticed that certain web resources overloaded their devices when they opened.
Web mining is often seen as an innocent activity that does not result in significant losses of money and consumes only a small amount of energy. A Kaspersky study denies this. By 2018, web mining could have consumed up to 18.8 gigawatts of electricity. According to this research on the economic and environmental impact of web mining, this figure is comparable to the electricity consumption of a middle-sized city in a year and at the same time evidence that the environmental impact of web mining is around 800 tons of greenhouse gas emissions or CO2.
In Kaspersky analyzed the statistics of prevention of web mining activity in 2018. Thus they came to the conclusion that, although individual losses can be considered insignificant, the overall impact is disastrous. According to these calculations, the amount of energy consumed through web mining could reach 1,670 megawatts per hour (MWh), unless the website blocks the code responsible for the start of mining. Translated into carbon dioxide emissions, that figure is equivalent to about 800 tons of CO2 emitted into the atmosphere in 2018, according to the average levels of the International Energy Agency.
According to Kaspersky, the amount of energy needed for this would be more than three times higher than the production of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in the year prior to its incident. According to safety researcher Alexey Malanov, “the prevention of such operations is not only a matter of cybersecurity, but also indirectly contributes to saving the environment.