Bitcoin Mining Scheme Discovered

Cybercriminals are hijacking Skype accounts in order to create spendable, almost-real Bitcoins.

Bitcoin Mining Scheme Discovered

Bitcoins are a hot commodity for traders, speculators and economists–and now they’re fertile territory for virtual mining. A new form of malware discovered by Kaspersky Labs last week turns computers into bitcoin generator machines. Bitcoins, for those unaware, are a virtual form of currency that can be exchanged for real-life goods and services. Bitcoins are “mined” through raw computing power by special software; the new malware Kaspersky discovered creates Bitcoins by quietly drafting strangers’ computers into creating bitcoins for a rogue programmer.

According to Quartz’s Adam Pasick, the malware spreads through Skype. “Users click on an link that installs software on their machine, and they become unwitting slaves in the bitcoin mines,” Pasick says.

[Image: Flickr user Gruntzooki]

About the author

Based in sunny Los Angeles, Neal Ungerleider covers science and technology for Fast Company. He also works as a consultant, writes books, and does other things.



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