Cryptocurrency miners have discovered an ingenious way of mining digital coins through the central processing units (CPUs) of YouTube visitors. The method is widely spread on YouTube platforms in Italy, Japan, France, and Taiwan.
In recent months, websites have started using hidden scripts that use users’ CPUs through their web browser to boost cryptocurrency mining activities. Some website owners use the strategy to fund their websites, but the method is highly controversial as it takes advantage of unknowing users through plugins.
YouTube now seems to have a similar problem. Dozens of users have reported that their anti-virus solutions prompted them that a malicious piece of software was trying to access their devices’ CPUs. The security software detected scripts that tried to exploit the visitors’ CPU processing power for digital coin mining purposes.
According to a Trend Micro report, suspicious ads related to cryptocurrency mining popped up on YouTube earlier this week. The visitors that were targeted at first were those in Spain, Italy, Taiwan, Japan, and France.
Hackers Have Been Banned from Google’s Ad Platform
The mining scripts were traced back to CoinHive, an online service specialized on Monero mining. But CoinHive is not behind the recent exploit. Bad actors reportedly tweaked the scripts to abuse the ad platform on YouTube.
Cybersecurity researchers found that the scripts were draining 80% of YouTube users’ devices’ processing power, without even them knowing it.
Google detected the abuse and closed the abusive mining ads. The company claims that it has banned the hackers from its Double Click ad platform.
In a recent statement, the web search giant warned that mining cryptocurrencies through website ads is abuse that infringes the company’s policies. Google promised to monitor such practices “actively.”
Google reportedly shut down the ads in less than two hours after being detected.
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