A change meant to improve Google Chrome performance will also indirectly impact cryptojacking scripts (in-browser cryptocurrency miners) and will severely reduce their efficiency.
According to a design document seen by Bleeping Computer, Google engineers plan to limit the CPU power some types of JS scripts running in the browser's background will be able to use.
Even if this change is part of a master plan to improve Chrome performance, Google engineers are particularly happy that this will impact cryptojackers as well.
"The goal of this intervention is to prevent scripts (particularly malicious ones) to adversely affect browsing performance and battery life for work users can’t see," wrote Google engineers in the design document.
"This intervention also addresses the recent rise of malicious scripts performing power-heavy computations without user permission (e.g. cryptocurrency mining)," they also added.
Here are the current particularities of Google's implementation plan:
Once the service worker throttling goes into effect —a few months from now, we're told— cryptojacking scripts will only work efficiently and produce profits for crooks if users are interacting with the page the script is being loaded on for long periods of time.
It's not a deadly blow for in-browser mining services, but it will narrow down the types of sites on which these scripts can be used efficiently. For example, video streaming sites will remain a good place to run cryptojacking scripts, as users tend to leave tabs open and focused while they watch the video content.