Since the value of Bitcoin has increased hackers and cybercriminals are taking advantage of every situation they can use to make easy money. This time, however, in a shocking event it has been identified that ads on Google’s YouTube, a popular video-sharing website, were using computing power (CPU) of its visitors to generate Monero cryptocurrency without their knowledge or permission.
CoinHive is a company that provides cryptocurrency miner, which sends any coins mined by the browser to the owner of the website, application or extension. Since September 2017 there have been more than 5000 websites that have been compromised to mine Monero through CoinHive.
On the other hand, CloudFlare considers the secret use of CoinHive code as using malware against site visitors. To prove its point, the security firm booted off one of its customers in October for using the CoinHive code and not allowing users to opt out of it or disable the code.
In a conversation, YouTube acknowledged the misuse of its ads but claims that the infected ads were blocked within two hours and malicious actors were also removed from its platforms.
“Mining cryptocurrency through ads is a relatively new form of abuse that violates our policies and one that we’ve been monitoring actively. We enforce our policies through a multi-layered detection system across our platforms which we update as new threats emerge. In this case, the ads were blocked in less than two hours and the malicious actors were quickly removed from our platforms.”
However, according to a report, it was revealed hackers have been conducting Malvertising campaigns which abuses Google’s DoubleClick ad platform to run cryptocurrency miners.
According to Alexa ranking, YouTube is the second most visited website in the world where visitors spend tons of time. The longer the user stays on a site infected with cryptocurrency miner the more Monero it generates for cybercriminals just like two Showtime video websites that were infected with a CoinHive minor in September last year.