Sunday, May 20, 2018
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Starbucks Free WiFi Includes Hidden Cryptocurrency Miner

We have talked about CoinHive in the past, they are the developer of javascript cryptocurrecny miner that many not so reputable websites have deployed to gain extra revenue from users. Well it looks like CoinHive’s miner was actually found deployed at a Starbucks in Buenos Aires. When a user would connect to the free WiFi service their computer would be forced to run the miner, which would then mine the cryptocurrency Monero (XMR).

This was eventually identified by Noah Dinkin, chief executive of a New York-based technology company. While at the cafe he was alerted to the issue by experiencing a delay before he was able to access the internet. The took to twitter alerting Starbucks to what he found.

He also noted that, “this was observed by a friend and I in three separate Starbucks stores in Buenos Aires over multiple days following my original tweet, that week, it wasn’t just one store”.

Starbucks did reply saying that, “As soon as we were alerted of the situation in this specific store last week, we took swift action to ensure our internet provider resolved the issue and made the changes needed in order to ensure our customers could use Wi-Fi in our store safely.”

As with many Starbucks locations, the WiFi service is outsourced by a third-party provider, so Starbucks does not own or control the WiFi network. Starbucks says this is an isolated incident and that the rest of their stores are safe.

Bob Buskirk
the authorBob Buskirk
About 10 years of computer experience. Been messing around with electronics since I was 5, got into computers when I was in highschool, been modding them ever since then. Very interested in how things work and their design.
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