You’re going to be rich! Well, someone is, but they used your computer to do it so that’s gotta be worth something, right?
If you live in Europe and visited Yahoo’s homepage during the infamous ad-hacking scandal that went down last week, you might be making money without even knowing it. It seems the same malware that made its way across millions of machines through Yahoo’s advertising system also dropped off a friendly Bitcoin mining application on every infected machine, activating each as it went on its merry way in and around the networks of the EU.
These botnets take advantage of the extra processing power in your CPU that goes unused during idle downtime, exploiting the vast web of computers at their disposal to hack away at the digital mines looking for Bitcoin somewhere down below. By deploying these networks en masse at once, the thieves have a better chance of getting a couple hundred mined before anyone catches onto their scheme.
Yahoo originally claimed that the data breach had taken place on January 3rd, however they came forward shortly after to state the attack had actually begun on the 31st of December. At first glance Yahoo engineers believed the attack’s only goal was to lay down a framework for your standard spam-style botnet, although a closer inspection by internet security company Light Cyber revealed a plot that’s a bit more profitable.
In the wake of this disastrous attack, Yahoo has reassured their users that security and safety are at the top of their priority list, even going as far to finally upgrade their email servers to the same 2048-bit AES standard of encryption that Gmail and Outlook have had for nearly four years now.
If you want to learn more about how to buy and sell Bitcoin safely and securely from the comfort of your own desk chair, check out our tutorial on the rising digital currency!