YouTube Ads Hijacked for Cryptocurrency Mining

YouTube viewers are upset that their computers are being used for cryptocurrency mining due to YouTube ads being hijacked with Coinhive.

While the value of cryptocurrencies continues to fluctuate, the desire for people to mine them hasn’t abated at all. In fact, many individuals look for additional ways to enhance their cryptocurrency mining. One option that many have turned to is the notorious Coinhive code that is often embedded in websites. Now it’s shown up in YouTube ads as users of the video streaming platform are complaining of having their computers used to mine crypto for some third party.

Malicious Ads Take More Than Your Time

Everyone who uses YouTube knows of their irritating ads. Most of them play before a video can be watched, but some will pop up in the middle of a streaming video. They’re an annoyance, but at least they only steal a few seconds of your time. That changed for a short time when a number of YouTube ads were hijacked with the Coinhive code.

The affected ads were from Google’s DoubleClick platform. Basically, the ads contained JavaScript that enabled cryptocurrency mining through Coinhive. YouTube users found their computer resources being consumed at a high rate (80%!) to mine Monero.

An independent security researcher, Troy Mursch, told Ars Technica:

YouTube was likely targeted because users are typically on the site for an extended period of time. This is a prime target for cryptojacking malware, because the longer the users are mining for cryptocurrency the more money is made.

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