Starbucks Wi-Fi Was Used To Mine Bitcoins For ISPs
It’s a running joke that Starbucks’ coffee is overpriced. However, that latte might cost you more than the sticker price considering reports that the coffee house’s wifi was recently caught using guests’ computers to mine for Bitcoins. The issue was first discovered by Noah Dinkin who took to Twitter to voice his concerns regarding the wifi offered at Buenos Aires Starbucks locations.
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
Starbucks later replied to Dinkin’s tweet claiming that the issue was not a matter of Starbucks policy, but rather something done by their ISP. The company stated that they contacted the company and ordered them to stop.
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 coffeehouse has no control over the actions of their ISPs, but has taken steps to address the issue.
“Last week, we were alerted to the issue and we reached out to our internet service provider—the Wi-Fi is not run by Starbucks, it’s not something we own or control,” Reggie Borges said. “We want to ensure that our customers are able to search the internet over Wi-Fi securely, so we will always work closely with our service provider when something like this comes up.”
Borges also added that the company had not found any evidence to suggest such activity was widespread. It appears to have been confined to a handful of locations in Buenos Aires.
Eric is an avid tech junkie, gamer, and comic fan. When he's not working on his PC, you'll find him at your local comic book shop.