A Starbucks store in Buenos Aires is unlikely to be top on your list of locations for you to find illegitimate mining of cryptocurrencies, but this is exactly what has happened.
Caffeine lover Noah Dinkin got more than he bargained for, when he discovered that his laptop had been infected by malware after he had sat down to log onto the coffee shops free WiFi hotspot.
The WiFi hotspot had been hijacked and infected with malware that syphons off processor power, which can then work out the calculations needed to generate and mine the cryptocurrency, all without the users knowledge. The chosen currency in this case was Monero.
When he had discovered what was going on, he swiftly alerted Starbucks and the company worked quickly with its internet service provider to remove the malware from the network, showing that Starbucks had nothing to do with this, and it was in fact the work of a hacker.
Although it would take more than the power from one laptop to generate the cryptocurrency a network of compromised computer that you are likely to get there could be used to generate Monero coins, making a lot of money for the hackers that will then be hard to trace.
Sadly, this is not an isolated case, and similar hacking seems to be on the rise. The Pirate Bay has actively said that it had been using cryptocurrency miners built into its website to experiment with new ways to generate money that was beyond advertising.
Of course, these ideas are not fool proof though, and they can cause machines to run sluggishly and put central processor units under heavy loads, which will cause the computer to use up more power, which will then erode the lifespan of the processor chip over time.
Unfortunately, the world as it is now leaves many with a get rich quick attitude, so illegal cryptocurrency mining and other illicit moves could just be becoming more and more popular.
Image Sources: Flickr