Starbucks Wi-Fi Hacks Customers’ Computers to Mine Cryptocurrency

The popular franchise recently had an incident where hackers targeted customers’ devices via its Wi-Fi to install a cryptocurrency mining script

Starbucks recently experienced an incident in one of its Buenos Aires stores where malicious attacks were found to be conducted using its compromised Wi-Fi. The attack hi-jacked customers of the coffee chain and covertly used their laptops to mine cryptocurrency. The event was discovered by Noah Dinkin, the Stensul CEO after he visited the store in question.

Dinkin brought the hack to Starbucks’ attention via Twitter:

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According to Dinkin, the covert mining script was using devices to mine Monero, the mining script provider, CoinHive, only offers scripts to mine Monero.

Covert cryptocurrency mining has become a rapidly growing trend amongst the more tech-savvy crypto enthusiasts, especially in the last year when cryptocurrency enjoyed an unprecedented price growth. Hackers and websites alike have been trying to scrape together the lesser lucrative, Monero, by covertly using the crypto mining script issued by CoinHive. The script allows the attacker to inject a user’s device with code that would use its processing powers to mine cryptocurrency. However, this is usually done without the device owner’s consent and can severely affect the device’s overall performance.

Starbucks responded to the incident, also via Twitter:

According to Reggie Borges, spokesperson for Starbucks, the event was an isolated occurrence, and that the fault lied with the store’s internet service provider, and not the franchise itself.

Borges stated that the company immediately alerted their internet service provider once Dinkin reported the issue. Borges emphasized that every store’s Wi-Fi is operated by their internet service provider and not Starbucks itself. However, the problem has been rectified, and Borges noted that Starbucks is committed to providing its users with a safe environment. Borges also stated that it was an isolated event and that Starbucks has no evidence to believe that any other store has been affected.

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