Monero Mining Script Hidden In Ad Campaigns

Monero Mining Script Hidden In Ad Campaigns

Not while ago Monero mining scripts where found in Starbuck’s cafes in Buenos Aires. The Wi-Fi networks had hidden codes that used customers’ devices for mining the altcoin. The craze for virtual money is everything but gone.

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Not while ago Monero mining scripts where found in Starbuck’s cafes in Buenos Aires. The Wi-Fi networks had hidden codes that used customers’ devices for mining the altcoin. The craze for virtual money is everything but gone. Israeli adtech firm Spotad warns that similar misuses are only becoming common.

Spotad is in charge of an AI ad platform, which purchases media space for commercial use. Company employees recently found that there is an unknown activity in their network. Later it turned out that someone is using their network to mine Monero. Unfortunately, according to them, this is not an isolated case.

Sarah, the name of Spotad’s artificial intelligence software had noticed strange patterns occurring in supposedly legitimate ads.  Both desktop and mobile devices were forced to work as miners. Any user who clicks on compromised ads automatically starts mining Monero. Spotad’s co-founder Yoav Oz stated that the agency whose ad was corrupt was not familiar with the embedded script.

Tomer Horev, CSO believes that similar abuses with networks, devices, websites or ads are getting more frequent because a whole lot of money is involved in cryptocurrencies. Because of that, many people are desperately trying to monetize as much as possible by pushing the limits of digital technologies.

After Sarah’s revelations, Spotad has formed an investigation unit within the AI platform that responsible for tracking and monitoring for suspicious activities. Users whose device are being exploited might experience slowed site and/or device responsiveness. The reason why miners prefer Monero is that desktop, laptop or mobile CPUs easily carry out its mining protocol.

In other news, a Russian cybersecurity company announced it had detected an Android-based malware named Loapi, which has contained ad campaigns and app stores. Again, mining Monero was the reason Loapi was launched. Earlier this year, The Pirate Bay used their visitors CPU’s for mining Monero as well. Website’s representatives state that the action was taken in order to deliver an ad-free experience to visitors. Mining through CPU’s is considered as an alternative way of funding.

Cybercriminals had also compromised several TV networks and streaming channels. With all the buzz going on, we should not be surprised that many are trying to find ways for cashing in. Security tools should be upgraded to detect scripts and prevent miners from spreading through websites and public networks.

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