Rogue advertisements discovered on YouTube have been found to abuse your computer’s power to mine cryptocurrency.
The discovery was first made by a handful of users that had anti-virus warnings triggered while watching YouTube videos. They noticed their CPU usage was skyrocketing to 80%, leaving no power for the other processes their computer needs to function. Upon examining the code, they found signs of crypto-mining.
In the reported cases, the malicious ads were mining for a coin called Monero. Crypto mining allows users to harness their computer’s power to verify transactions on the blockchain, and in exchange, rewards them with a small amount of currency.
YouTube says they’ve identified the problem and are curbing any future cases before they become a problem.
“Mining cryptocurrency through ads is a relatively new form of abuse that violates our policies and one that we’ve been monitoring actively,” a Google representative told Ars Technica, who first broke the story. “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.”