A Russian porn website is infecting people’s computers with malware that overtakes their systems to mine for Bitcoins. (Pretty sure that’s the most Internetty sentence in history.) PCWorld reports that the malware (called “Fareit”) has been circulating for the past six months and only affects Windows computers.
Bitcoin, a decentralized digital currency, is exchanged via peer-to-peer software. But, as PCWorld explains, it takes computer power to “mine” the coins:
New bitcoins are created by mining, or contributing computing power that is used to verify transactions, which are entered into a public ledger called the blockchain.
New blocks are created about every ten minutes, and miners who create a new block are rewarded with 25 bitcoins, the preset reward set by the Bitcoin’s system’s pseudonymous creator, Satoshi Nakamoto.
Fareit, which was coded in Cyrillic, infiltrates the victim’s computer and installs a mining application to create Bitcoins. The hackers use the computer to compute parts of the blockchain which is then sent to Russian domains.
Since Bitcoin sellers are rewarded for adding more blocks to the chains, the sketchy sites earn a profit from your computer, according to a blog post on security firm ThreatTrack.
To block the threat, keep your antivirus software up-to-date. Or just ignore the existence of Bitcoins