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Cryptocurrencies

Starbucks Argentina wi-fi made computers mine cryptocurrency

Thursday 14 December 2017 | 10:32 AM CET

Starbucks Argentina has acknowledged that visitors to one of its branches were unwittingly recruited into a cryptocurrency mining operation.

The issue was identified only when the chief executive of a New York-based technology company logged into the service and noticed the problem, according to BBC. Although he initially believed the code had been designed to force his laptop to try to create Bitcoins, other users noted that it had in fact been designed to mine another digital currency, Monero.

The wi-fi service provided by one of the coffee chain’s Buenos Aires outlets secretly hijacked connected computers to use their processing power to create digital cash. It is not clear how long the malware involved was active or how many customers were affected.

Starbucks said that it had taken “swift action” to address the problem. As an advice, public wi-fi users should ensure they use up-to-date software and be on the lookout for suspicious activity, to minimise their risks.

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