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When a Coffeehouse Is a Perfect Place to Mine Cryptocurrency: Starbucks’ Wifi Hijacked People's Laptops

siliconreview When a Coffeehouse Is a Perfect Place to Mine Cryptocurrency: Starbucks’ Wifi Hijacked People's Laptops

Seattle-based coffeehouse chain, Starbucks has recently witnessed an unethical cyber activity. The wifi service of one of the Starbucks’ outlets in Buenos Aires got surreptitiously hijacked by a visitor. The connected computers on the outlet’s wifi were compromised to process power to create cryptocurrency. And according to Starbucks, the coffeehouse chain has taken immediate action against the creepy wifi hijack.

Till now, it is not clear how long the malware was involved in the activity and how many customers were affected by the hack.

The issue was identified only when Noah Dinkin, CEO of Stensul visited the Starbucks’ Buenos Aires outlet and logged into the service and noticed the activity.

“Hi Starbucks! Did you know that your in-store wifi provider in Buenos Aires forces a 10-second delay when you first connect to the wifi so it can mine Bitcoin using a customer's laptop?” Dinkin tweeted on December 2. “Feels a little off-brand.” 

In response to the Noah’s December 2 tweet, Starbucks acknowledged the issue and announced that it’s been resolved. Visitors to the Buenos Aires location where Dinkin noticed the mining code will no longer have their computers trickily hijacked.

“As soon as we were alerted of the creepy cyber activity in this specific store last week, we took swift action and made sure 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,” a Starbucks official said.

The strange thing in the entire incident is that usually Victims' computers are targeted using some infected websites or phishing sites, but it is really unusual for a wifi hotspot to be involved.