Bitcoin fever is bigger than ever, now that the value of this cryptocurrency has reached the astonishing number of 14.000 USD. Everybody wants a piece of that cake, and one of the ways that users earn more bitcoin is by mining them. This means that you offer part (or all) of your device’s power to the blockchain, and as a reward, you recieve a small quantity of the cryptocurrency. But some people may have taken this too far.
People in Buenos Aires, Argentina, got shocked today when they discovered that the internet provider of a local café (a Starbucks) was taking advantage of all the customers that used the Wi-Fi, turning its devices into monero miners without their permission or knowledge.
They were mining monero
The users came to the café with their laptops and smartphones hoping to have a good time and drink a frappuccino or whatever they like; but when they connected to the Wi-Fi network, they were redirected to a blank website for 10 seconds, and that was all it takes to turn your device into a cryptocurrency miner.
Monero is another kind of cryptocurrency, similar to bitcoin, but harder to trace. Of course, no customer got any benefit from this, and all the monero went to Starbuck’s internet provider. One of the customers discovered the scam and told the company through Twitter, and they answered quickly and effectively. Right now Starbucks says that the problem has been fixed and that their customers from Buenos Aires can connect to their Wi-Fi without fear again.
As a fun fact, the customer who discovered this monero scam was Noah Dinkin, the CEO of Stensul, and he just went to have some coffee when he got suspicious due to the blank website that appeared when he connected to the Wi-Fi, so he decided to investigate further.