YourFreeProxy Installs Toolbar that Mines Bitcoin Using Your PC

Posted by: Maxine Brimmer (2 years, 10 months ago)

You might be able to guess from the name that YourFreeProxy is a service providing free proxies to allow users to route around firewalls and outsmart internet censorship. What you might not guess is that the service, owned by Mutual Public, secretly installs a toolbar which uses your computer to mine for Bitcoin right under your nose.

Although YourFreeProxy proclaims itself “Most trusted Proxy service with more than 189 million downloads!” it seems that that trust may have been a little unfounded. Discovered thanks to reports on MalwareBytes, the toolbar surreptitiously mined for Bitcoin using the host computer and eating up a huge portion of system resources. According to some victims, the mining process used by the YourFreeProxy toolbar caused a 50% increase in CPU usage.

To top it all off, although YourFreeProxy does not outright mention to the user that their computer will be used to sneakily mine Bitcoin for the benefit of the shady folks over at Mutual Public, it does get a mention in the Terms and Conditions. The user contract uses very vague language to mention the fact that affected computers will be used to run the complicated mathematical processes used to mine Bitcoin.

Anyone running YourFreeProxy’s toolbar is advised to uninstall the software as soon as possible, and software by Malware Bytes has now been updated to include a removal option specifically for this program.

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