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Bitcoin machines increasingly targeted by cyber hackers

Value of Bitcoins has almost tripled within a month

By CBR Staff Writer

Cyber hackers are trying to benefit from the rising value of the bitcoin virtual currency by using the currency machines to develop or mine the coins.

The value of Bitcoins has almost tripled within a month, as in late February a bitcoin was worth £22 ($33), while its current value is about £60 ($90).

However, Bitcoin miners say that hackers using a network of hijacked PCs have to solve challenging mathematical problems in a bid to replicate the original creation of coins, as coin-generating technology is becoming more sophisticated.

A Bitcoin developer Jeff Garzik was cited by BBC as saying that botnet mining is fundamentally theft of private property, illegal and unethical.

"Bitcoin miners had battled botnets for years, seeing them as a "cost and a burden" they just had to deal with," Garzik said.

According to security firm Sophos, some of these botnet operators have been able to earn about $100,000 per day by taking over several computers and deploying them to operate the required calculations to generate the Bitcoins.

The security firm also revealed that one of the largest botnets being used to mine Bitcoins is known as ZeroAccess, which has been installed more than 9 million times.

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