Bitcoins and other blockchain currencies are generated by using computers to solve complex mathematical problems and it is costly to build and run these powerful computers. Rather than incur the expense of building their own computers, the bad guys have figured out a way to use your computer for free. They have created coin mining malware that uses your computer to do the mathematical calculations for them and Microsoft has reported that over 600,000 computers per month are being exposed to coin mining malware. The malware can be spread via email or an infected website that you unknowingly visit.
Once your computer is infected, your processing power is added to a mining pool and starts working on generating a bitcoin with the local CPU. You may notice that your computer is slow, is running hot or completely stops functioning.
At BSC Solutions Group, we have seen our Security Manager software detecting and blocking a number of different coin mining malware variants, but it is still possible as new strains are released that your computer could be compromised. If you feel your computer is running slower than normal, perform a full scan with whatever anti-virus software you have installed. Malwarebytes offers a free version of their anti-virus product, which you can download and use : https://www.malwarebytes.com/mwb-download/.
If you are concerned that your computer may be infected with coin mining malware or is otherwise behaving unusually, please reach out to us for assistance.