There’s a new malicious software going around that allows hackers to mine the cryptocurrency Monero directly off of any computer that it’s been installed on.
An estimated billion users have already experienced this, according to Adguard. The software uses video streaming websites such as Streamango, OnlineVideoConverter, Openload, and Rapidvideo to tap into the user’s computer and mine Monero as they watch videos.
Andrey Meshkov, one of the co-founders of Adguard, said that they “came across several very popular websites that secretly use the resources of users’ devices for cryptocurrency mining. According to SimilarWeb, these four sites register 992 million visits monthly.”
The exact amount mined during the hacks has yet to be determined, but Meshkov predicts “the total monthly earnings from crypto-jacking, taking into account the current Monero rate, could be as much as $326, 000.”
Why are the hackers going after Monero? Probably because it’s significantly easier to mine than a cryptocurrency like Bitcoin, which requires extremely specialized hardware to do so. Monero mining, on the other hand, simply requires any CPU or GPU.