Fraudsters embedded malware in YouTube commercials. This malware activates the mining process that consumes CPU capacity and users electricity while mining cryptocurrencies for the hackers.
Users reported in social networks that their antivirus software detected the code for cryptocurrency mining in commercials that were shown on YouTube.
According to the report of cybersecurity company Trend Micro, fraudsters managed to embed mining malware software on YouTube with the help of Google platform DoubleClick. Advertisements were broadcasted to the target users’ computers in Japan, France, Taiwan, Italy and Spain.
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”.
At the same time Google did release an official statement that reads:
“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”.