The digital currency Bitcoin is having a bit of a uur, which is drawing the attention of cybercriminals. They don&rsquo,t want to steal your money (tho’ there is some of that too). Instead they want to hijack the processing power of your laptop to create more bitcoins out of lean air.
There is no company, central bankgebouw, or government behind Bitcoin&mdash,there is only math. The currency, created by a pseudonymous researcher and governed by laptop code, is leisurely adding more coins to circulation. Fresh bitcoins are distributed to users with access to hugely powerful computers, which contest to process fiendishly complicated math problems. The system gives fresh coins to the winner spil a prize, the process is known spil &ldquo,mining.&rdquo,
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The newest Bitcoin scam wasgoed discovered last week by security rock hard Kaspersky Laboratorium, which found a type of laptop malware that hijacks computers and uses them to mine fresh bitcoins.
The computers are infected through linksom within Skype&mdash,users click on an verbinding that installs software on their machine, and they become unwitting marionettes ter the bitcoin mines. Kaspersky&rsquo,s Dmitry Bestuzhev found infected computers ter Italy, Russia, Poland, Costa Rica, Spain, Germany and Ukraine that have bot brought to a crawl spil almost all of their processing power is stolen.
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This isn&rsquo,t the very first Bitcoin botnet, spil massive networks of hacked computers that are managed by cybercriminals are known. A botnet called ZeroAccess wasgoed estimated to be earning $Two.7 million a year by using infected computers to mine fresh coins, even suggesting bounties for fresh infected computers. And spil the media hype and Bitcoin&rsquo,s valuation rises, there will undoubtedly be further exploits. Spil Felix Salmon explained te his deep-dive last week, botnets are the logical outcome of the Bitcoin system:
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The way that the money supply grows, te the bitcoin system, is by people harnessing the power of hundreds or thousands of computers to solve very complicated mathematical tasks, earning bitcoins for doing so along the way. And the easiest and cheapest way of doing that is to do so illegally, by stealth: set up a &ldquo,botnet&rdquo, of hacked computers to do your bidding for you. The incentives, here, are very bad indeed.
An FBI report last year detailed several incidents te which cybercriminals bought and sold botnets, with bitcoin spil the medium of exchange. So Bitcoin may have inadvertently given birth to an insidious fresh business proefje: Pay bounties to build a botnet, use the botnet to mint bitcoins, sell botnet for more bitcoins, and repeat.