Coinhive Found In Starbucks’ Wi-Fi Networks

Coinhive Found In Starbucks’ Wi-Fi Networks

Do you remember that time when The Pirate Bay used JavaScript code to mine Monero with visitors CPU’s? Surely, it is an efficient way to replace ads and monetize traffic but is it ethic doing so?

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Do you remember that time when The Pirate Bay used JavaScript code to mine Monero with visitors CPU’s? Surely, it is an efficient way to replace ads and monetize traffic but is it ethic doing so?

Since then, using that code has become extremely viral. Some enthusiasts even developed Google Chrome extensions with that code. You can say Monero mining is slightly getting out of hand. Even the streaming service Fight Pass, used subscribers’ computers to mine the cryptocurrency. Coinhive is the code, which is now an obsession.

Time for a coffee? Let’s go to Starbucks in Buenos Aires. Noah Dinkin informed the public via his Twitter account that customers experience 10 seconds delay when connecting to the Wi-Fi network. The internet provider uses that 10 seconds gap to mine Monero, again with the kind help of Coinhive. Dinkin himself works in a tech company so he simply found the cause of the delay. He posted screenshots from the page source view on his Twitter account. In his post, he even asks Starbucks if they knew what’s going on in their cafes.

Thankfully, Coinhive only works with Monero since the cryptocurrency is easily mined with CPU.

Not long after his initial post, Starbucks did answer. They announced to have taken care of the problem, which is already resolved. Another representative later stated that Starbucks did not intentionally used customers’ laptops for mining but it was the internet provider who added that JavaScript code. He told Motherboard that the company stays behind ethic policies and insists its customers’ data is not compromised.

After the incident went public, cybersecurity expert Don Smith emphasized users must be careful when connecting to open networks. Especially public Wi-Fi’s cannot be completely trusted, even when the provider is a trusted brand. In a later tweet, Dinkin informed that Terms of Service page do not say anything about Coinhive. Unfortunately, the code was found in other Starbucks cafes the very same day.

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