NSA leak fuels rise in hacking for crypto mining: report

Washington (AFP) - Illicit cryptocurrency mining has been surging over the past year, in part due to a leaked software tool from the US National Security Agency, researchers said Wednesday.

A report by the Cyber Threat Alliance, an association of cybersecurity firms and experts, said it detected a 459 percent increase in the past year of illicit crypto mining -- a technique used by hackers to steal the processing power of computers to create cryptocurrency.

"Activity has gone from a virtually non-exist issue to one that almost universally shows up at the top of our members' threat lists," said a blog post by Neil Jenkins, chief analytic officer for the alliance.