Security firms report a huge rise in crypto-currency themed malware in the wake of Bitcoin's (Bitcoin) booming value. Cyber-thieves are using both dedicated software, hacked websites and emails to snare victims, the BBC reported.
Anti-malware software company Malwarebytes said it stopped almost 250 million attempts to place coin-mining malware on PCs in one month.
Symantec said it had seen a "tenfold" increase in the amount of malicious code connected with crypto-cash.
"There's been a huge spike," said Candid Wuest, a threat researcher at online security firm Symantec, adding that “it had been caused by the rapid increase in Bitcoin's value.”
"With $10,000 being breached, and all the hype, a lot of people are trying to make money with crypto-coins," said Mr Wuest.
Most of the activity seen by Symantec and other security firms involves crypto-coins other than Bitcoin, mostly because it takes a huge amount of computer power to produce or "mine" Bitcoins.
Malwarebytes told the BBC that its security software was now, on average, stopping about eight million attempts a day by coin-mining code to compromise users' PCs.
Much of this coin-mining software was found on websites that had been hacked, to give attackers the ability to install their own code.