YouTube is now showing ads that drain your CPU to mine cryptocurrency. Yes, you’ve read that right. Earlier in the week, the issue arose when some users complained about their YouTube ads raising flags in anti-virus software. All credit goes to Coinhive that was using a viewer’s CPU power to mine crypto by hijacking it.
Trend Micro, an international cyber security company confirmed this cryptojacking activity in a blog post on Friday, aptly calling it a “malvertising campaign,” which ousted Google’s DoubleClick. The post also pointed that Japan, Taiwan, France, Spain, and Italy are the countries, which were affected by the campaign.
“Attackers abused Google’s DoubleClick, which develops and provides internet ad serving services, for traffic distribution,” the post says.
On Friday, Google confirmed this incident in a statement given to Ars Technica, mentioning that in this case, “the ads were blocked in less than two hours and the malicious actors were quickly removed from our platforms.”
Coinhive, the script behind all these notorious activities, was developed originally to allow website owners to harness the processing power of a user’s computer to mine Monero. It was basically an ethical way to turn traffic into income as the website owner let users know about Coinhive up front and the script couldn’t monopolize the processing power.