We posted a story last week about how The Pirate Bay was using your CPU in order to mine cryptocurrency. In that post we talked about the pros and the cons of doing this. The big pro is for The Pirate Bay to not have to rely on inappropriate advertisers in order to keep the site going. And, to me, the fact that TPB was using it, kind of makes sense. I’m not saying that I agree with the fact that they’re using it, but it makes sense doesn’t it? What doesn’t make sense is that Showtime has also been using a cryptocurrency miner on their websites. Specifically showtime.com and showtimenaytime.com. To me, that seems kind of shady. The TPB case is also shady, but this seems worse to me.
Like I said, I don’t necessarily think this is a horrible idea, but you kind of have to look at who is doing this. Showtime is owned by CBS. Which is a massive brand. Also, if you’re watching Showtime online from the official source, you already have a subscription and therefore are paying for the service. So why do they need more money? Neither CBS nor Showtime have come out with a statement explaining how the miner ended up on the site. But it has since been removed.
There are two scenarios I can see with this. Either they knew about it and therefore intended to mine some currency, or the software was placed there without the knowledge of the company. Which is more plausible? Honestly, both are. If it’s the former, it’s like the kid getting caught with his hand in the cookie jar. Which means, of course you will have to take it down. It’s such a bad PR nightmare. Especially since people are paying for your content already. Again, I’m not defending TPB, but you don’t pay to use their website. So it makes sense that they are looking for alternative ways to make some cash.
Showtime on the other hand, shouldn’t need the money. I think I have a skewed sense of money when it comes to “Hollywood”. I think people should get paid a fair wage, and that networks and studios should also make some money. But in general, I think they make too much. Maybe that’s not so skewed. On the other hand, if they didn’t know about the cryptocurrency miner, how did it get there? And is that a bigger security issue? HBO was hacked not that long ago, so it’s plausible that it was put there without anyone knowning. Which speaks to vulnerabilities in their system. And we all know what can happen if your site or platform is vulnerable.