Police in Rui’An city in Zhejiang province, as reported, arrested 16 suspects who were claimed to have gained 5 million yuan ($800,000) by hacking more than 100,000 computers in internet cafes across 30 Chinese cities since July of last year.
According to the report, hackers first developed a piece of malware that can particularly mine the siacoin cryptocurrency on an affected device. It was then marketed to computer maintenance firms who allegedly helped to implant the malware to computers at internet cafes while carrying out routine checkups.
The hackers and their alleged accomplices would split the profits made by mining and selling the siacoins.
In July, an issue appeared when internet cafes in Rui’An begin to notice their computers had become extremely slow since the CPU usage rate was often at 70 percent even after a restart.
According to a data, it was also at that time when the price of siacoin jumped by 400 percent from $0.002 in May to over $0.01 in July.
The police arrested the firm’s chief executive officer in August, who later exposed information on the hackers since most of the internet cafes in Rui’An used the same computer maintenance firm.
As of now, the investigation is still continuous with over 100 computer maintenance firms in the country being allegedly involved.