"Miners" of the virtual currency bitcoin have come under increasing attack from hackers as the value of each coin has tripled in one month to roughly $90.
The BBC reported yesterday that "thieves using a network of hijacked PCs" must solve challenging mathematical problems in order to replicate the work of the legitimate, "professional" bitcoin miners.
Bitcoin miners are confident that by turning to faster, more sophisticated, custom-made computer chips called Asics, they will be able to push the thieves – called "botnet miners" – out of the market.
Roughly one third of bitcoin miners currently use the custom chips, according to Vitalik Buterin, technical editor at Bitcoin Magazine.
To read more analysis of the bitcoin sensation, click here.