Dumb-as-a-post Bitcoin-mining malware has appeared – bringing further proof that the virtual currency's hyperbolic trajectory is attracting the sort of late-to-the-party shady speculator that telegraphs a jarring fall.
The malware is currently spreading through a wide-ranging link poisoning campaign being run on Skype, a Kaspersky researcher wrote on Thursday. It is not the first Bitcoin-mining malware that has been detected, but its arrival coincides with a period of intense interest in the currency.
Two days after Bitcoin blasted through its all-time price—shooting past $100 per BTC—Instawallet, one of the digital currency's easiest-to-use wallet sites, has shut down indefinitely. Bitcoin’s price peaked at around $140 late Tuesday but has since fallen back down. It’s hovering around $128 at present.
Bitcoin exchange Mt. Gox faced a distributed denial-of-service attack late Thursday, at a time the digital currency is seeing an upward swing.
The Japanese company, which is rated as the largest exchange for bitcoins, was hit by a DDoS attack that was "stronger than the average," the exchange's support team said. Such attacks aim to overwhelm systems by sending an overload of requests to websites.
Looks like Bitcoin has got too big to ignore. Virtual currencies are to be regulated by the US Treasury after the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) moved to clarify their status under anti-money-laundering laws.
The move comes as Bitcoins doubled in value in just a few weeks to hit a record high of more than $70 each, possibly fuelled by the banking crisis in Cyprus and the rest of Europe.
An Alberta man is hoping to become the first person to sell a house for Bitcoins. He's asking $405,000 Canadian, or its equivalent in Bitcoins, for the 3.6 acre site.
"We are hoping to be the first piece of real estate sold for bitcoins," Taylor More told us by e-mail. "We think maybe this could help push the currency more mainstream."