The store of coffee giant, Starbucks in Buenos Aires was recently in news when Stensul CEO, Noah Dinkin tweeted that the free-in-store Wifi was mining cryptocurrency secretly by hijacking the customer’s laptop. While sipping his coffee, Noah Dinkin noticed a 10 second delay while trying to connect to the free Wifi provided by the Starbucks store. The Wifi provider was basically mining cryptocurrency using the laptop of the customer and the same was reported by Noah to the store through a tweet on 2nd December, 2017.
The tweet by Noah Dinkin read “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? feels a little off brand”. He also attached the screenshot of the malicious code that was mining the cryptocurrency. Other twitter users have said to point that the website that was hosting the script was mining other cryptocurrency, Monero.
The company acknowledged the same by replying “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 to ensure our customers could use Wifi in our stores safely.” The Starbucks representative on behalf of the company stated “Last week, we were alerted to the issue and we reached out to our Internet Service Provider – the Wifi is not run by Starbucks; it’s not something we own or control. We don’t have any concern that this is widespread across any of our stores.” Clearly, Starbucks has tried to shift the blame to the Wifi provider.
Cryptocurrency mining is gaining popularity nowadays with its skyrocketing value and hijacking laptops being connected to free-in-store Wifi to mine cryptocurrency has emerged as a smarter way. But the same is highly inappropriate and Starbucks is not the only store that has been targeted for few stores in recent past have been targeted in a similar manner to mine the cryptocurrencies.
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