Cryptocurrency miners invade online advertising

Cryptocurrency miners invade online advertising

        

        
        YouTube and DoubleClick in the eye of the storm

        
                
        Published on
        29/01/18 at 15:36
    

        
        

                            
                    Internet users have recently experienced significant slowdowns on their computers using YouTube. Attackers have indeed managed to hijack Google's DoubleClick ad network to undermine cryptocurrency without the knowledge of visitors to the video platform via certain advertisements.
                
            
                            

Researchers at the security software company Trend Micro found in late January that this attack on YouTube has tripled the number of cryptocurrency miners on Coinhive. According to the editor, the attack that began on January 18 has affected several countries, including France, Japan, Taiwan, Italy and Spain. In nine out of ten cases, ads use a JavaScript script provided by Coinhive (a controversial mining service) to mine Monero cryptocurrency without the knowledge of visitors to Google's platform. The Arstechnica site relayed several testimonials published in recent days on social networks by Internet users victims of these "crypto-pubs" broadcast by the DoubleClick advertising network. Particularly greedy, malicious scripts discovered were programmed to consume up to 80% of visitors CPU!

A plague in full swing
Without going into details, a spokesman for Google was reassuring: "Mining cryptocurrency via advertisements is a relatively recent form of violation of our rules, and we are watching closely. In this case, the ads were blocked in less than 2 hours and their authors were removed from our platform. The fact that a service as popular and monitored as YouTube is victim of cryptocurrency mining via advertisements is not really reassuring. More and more sites, especially video streaming sites, are mining cryptocurrency by exploiting the material resources of their visitors without informing them in advance. The sites ThePirateBay, Showtime, Subaru or the SafeBrowse extension for Chrome are some of the many examples that have used this practice. The Coinhive program alone holds more than 90% market share in the mining business.

            
                    

        
        

        

        

    
    
                            
                
    

        
        
    

    

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