Canadians hit by wave of so-called 'cryptojacking'

Scores of Canadians dipped their toes into cryptocurrency mining in recent weeks, they just didn't realize it.

A wave of so-called ``cryptojacking'' has been sweeping the Internet, forcing unwitting web surfers into generating money for cybercriminals.

Hackers infect websites with malicious code that secretly conscripts visitors into an army of cryptocurrency miners.

Cryptocurrency mining involves devoting a computer's processing power to solving a complicated mathematical problem with digital currency called Monero offered as a reward.

Web surfers typically don't realize anything is happening, and once they leave the infected website, the cryptojacking stops.

Computer security researcher Troy Mursch recently identified as many as 50-thousand websites that had been compromised and says cryptojacking is in its ``gold rush'' stage.

Researcher Jerome Segura with software company Malwarebytes says cryptojacking is less damaging than other forms of hacking since no personal information is accessed or stolen, but it should still be taken seriously.