The cryptojacking incident happened with Stensul CEO Noah Dunkin would rather sound unusual to many. Earlier this month, Dunkin was up at a Buenos Aires Starbucks for a caffeine doze. There he connected to the store’s free wireless internet only to find himself surprised after what happened.
Dunkin noticed a strange 10-second delay his laptop took while connecting to the WiFi. He later found a cryptocurrency mining code on his laptop.
He was quick to bring the issue to the coffee brand’s attention via Twitter where Dunking also included a screenshot of the code he found.
Hi @Starbucks @StarbucksAr 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.. cc @GMFlickinger pic.twitter.com/VkVVdSfUtT
— Noah Dinkin (@imnoah) December 2, 2017
Although, Dunkin said in his tweet that the code was trying to mine Bitcoins from his laptop. But the code was a CoinHive script, which only works with Monero, a Motherboard report says. Previously, CoinHive’s code has been used to mine Monero by The Pirate Bay and SafeBrowse extension.
About a week later, Starbucks’ to Dunkin’s tweet revealed that the coffee chain had instructed the internet provider to fix the problem, the tweet said.
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 in order to ensure our customers could use Wi-Fi in our store safely.
— Starbucks Coffee (@Starbucks) December 11, 2017
A Starbucks spokesperson told Motherboard that the issue was related to the specific store and has been resolved. The company doesn’t itself look after the WiFi services.