Another entertainment giant may have been hacked over the weekend.
As pointed out by the Register, two of Showtime’s websites were discovered to have been running a script that uses CPU resources to "mine" cryptocurrency. Showtime.com and the video streaming site Showtimeanytime.com were apparently loading Coinhive, which uses visitors’ CPU power to produce Monero (a cryptocurrency). Twitter user @SkensNet noticed the script and reached out to Showtime for a response.
The network declined to comment. Which raises the question: Was it hacked? Or was this intentional?
The Register describes Coinhive as a “legitimate outfit” that allows websites to generate money from page visitors. Coinhive takes 30 percent of the money from mined Monero, and the owners of the website take the rest. As of Monday, a Monero coin was trading for about $92.
Again, using Coinhive isn’t inherently shady… unless visitors are unaware it’s being used. This was the case earlier this month when the site Pirate Bay added the script to its homepage without informing its users.
"Once a user visits the website, they unwittingly start mining the cryptocurrency Monero," tech researcher Troy Mursch wrote on Bad Packets. "This can put a tremendous load on the CPU of anyone who visits a website with the Coinhive miner on it."
If this wasn’t a result of hacking, Showtime could receive additional backlash from its customers. Just last month, the network was hit with a class-action lawsuit over the poor quality of the Floyd Mayweather vs. Conor McGregor fight. The plaintiff, Zack Bartel, is suing Showtime for "unlawful trade practices and unjust enrichment," claiming the network failed to secure the necessary amount of bandwidth.