A new study offers fresh details on illegal Bitcoin mining. F-Secure‘s quarterly report, released today, claims four major campaigns took place between April and July of 2013 which took over strangers’ computers to illicitly generate Bitcoins. Bitcoins, a popular “virtual currency,” are generated through processor hours in an attempt to create a virtual economy. In illegal Bitcoin mining, hackers take over strangers’ computers to generate Bitcoins for personal use.
According to F-Secure, one of these campaigns, ZeroAccess, generated approximately $1.7 million monthly out of the top 5% of victims alone. The report also claims Skype is a primary infection vector. Using Skype, criminals would mail random targets with links claiming to be pictures or spreadsheets. Once opened, the links installed malware that turned the machines into slaves generating Bitcoins.