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Cyber criminals are using a mass-sent scam text message to hijack the computing power of Australian phones to mine Bitcoin. The SMS, which has been sent to thousands of Australians, tells the recipient they have been sent an unspecified number of Bitcoin which can be redeemed by following a shortened URL.
But Chief Technology Officer at Symantec, Nick Savvides, says that by handing over their details, users are lending the power of their device to a complex criminal web intent on profiting from the digital currency. Everything you need to know about the cryptocurrency in 90 seconds.
Mining bitcoin requires an enormous amount of computer processing power, so by tapping into an enormous web of gullible phone owners the cyber criminals can effectively crowdshare their mining operation.
Savvides says the text message is a classic example of how a cyber scam is run, but many users are likely to be duped by it because it appears on your mobile phone instead of your email inbox. Frighteningly, Savvides says it isn't necessarily your bank account details the hackers want although that is extremely profitable , it's your identity. If you receive a bitcoin text, Savvides recommends ignoring it and deleting the text from your phone.
Short URLs are generally a dead giveaway that they are a link to spam," advices Savvides. If the text is unexpected then be suspicious and delete it. Go directly to those services as opposed to following the link you received in the text.
With smartphone use soaring amongst every Australian demographic, Savvides says the new battleground of cyber criminals is firmly in the palm of your hand. Savvides wrns that it's no longer enough to view your smartphone as a novel toy — it must be treated as a powerful conduit between you, your money and the internet. In fact, if you were to buy a brand new mobile it would probably be more powerful than your desktop computer that's three years old," says Savvides.
Have you been sent a text message promising you Bitcoin? Please get in touch to share your experience at smarsh nine. By Stuart Marsh Nov 3rd, More From Executive Suite. Sporting broadcast rights getting too expensive, warns Seven boss. Most Read Budget Exactly how pensioners are better off.