Starbucks’ free in-store Wi-Fi has been caught secretly hijacking customers’ laptops to mine cryptocurrency. On 2 December, Stensul CEO Noah Dinkin noticed there was a 10-second delay when connecting to the public Wi-Fi at a Starbucks store in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

After a little digging, he uncovered some suspicious code embedded in Starbucks’ reward site for Argentina that happened to be Coinhive’s code used to generate Monero coins using the CPU processing power of the site’s visitors. “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…,” Dinkin tweeted along with a screenshot of the code. The tweet immediately sparked criticism and concerns over security and privacy on social media.

Starbucks later responded to Dinkin’s tweet confirming the issue. “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,” the official Starbucks account tweeted. Read more from…

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