Criminals keep finding new ways to take advantage of us. Bitcoins and other cyber currencies are constantly in the news and this has led to endless scam offers of untold wealth from Bitcoins and other cyber currencies. But there’s also a new way for criminals to take advantage of you.
The Creation of New Bitcoins
This is through a process called ‘mining’ and it applies to all cyber currencies.
Mining uses huge amounts of computer processing power to keep the blockchains consistent, complete and unalterable. The “blockchain” is how the records of the Bitcoins are stored. Mining becomes progressively more difficult as more Bitcoins are created over time – requiring more and more processing power.
Bitcoin has been in circulation for some years and effective mining requires super computers.
However, hackers get around this by commandeering processing power from large numbers of other people’s computers – possibly your computer.
The hackers infect your computer with malware that lets them download data to be processed and upload the results back to themselves. If you find your computer is always slow and seems to be busy doing something you haven’t asked it to do – this can mean your computer has been infected and is busy working for someone else.
The same hacking tool that allowed the Wannacry ransomware to wreak destruction in 2017 has also been used by hackers to take over people’s computers and use them for mining.
Another similar one is called Smominru and makes infected computers mine for the cyber currency Monero. It is thought that up to half a million computers have been taken over for this purpose.
Make sure your computer is protected against these attacks through the use of anti-virus and anti-malware, take regular backups in case of data corruption or ransomware attacks.
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