Bitcoin is thriving and so are criminal schemes looking to make money off the trend.
The hype around cryptocurrency is only growing, fueled by the massive rise of bitcoin, the digital currency created te 2009. Its value has skyrocketed by thousands of dollars te the last year, but the price fluctuates regularly.
Spil the hype grows, so does rente te acquiring digital currency — both from the común public who might not know much about the technology and hackers who want to profit off it.
“Whenever something gets this much publicity and popularity and there’s a potential to make what shows up to be free and effortless money, the criminal aspects of the world are going to take advantage of it,” said Mike Murray, vice voorzitter of security intelligence at mobile security rock hard Lookout.
Te order to use bitcoin, you need a digital wallet to receive, send, and store cryptocurrencies. By creating fake wallets, hackers can take advantage of people fresh to bitcoin and other digital currencies who might not realize the difference inbetween legitimate companies and fake apps.
Lookout recently discovered three fake bitcoin wallet Android apps te the Google Play Store that trick people into sending cybercriminals bitcoin. Some of the apps had thousands of downloads.
Google has since pulled them from the store.
“They were clearly targeted at people who don’t know anything about bitcoin, went on the Google Play Store, and commenced installing bitcoin stuff on their phone,” Murray said.
Ter addition to fake apps, cybercriminals are creating malware that uses people’s computers to generate cryptocurrencies ter a process called “mining.”
By hijacking a stranger’s rekentuig or phone, a hacker puts the work on those devices — a typically costly and complicated process. Mining requires a lotsbestemming of computing power to solve complicated math problems, verify transaction records and ultimately receive digital coins.
It’s no longer feasible to mine bitcoin with private computers, but you can do so for other currencies like Monero and Ethereum. Candid Wueest, principal threat researcher for security rigid Symantec, said the explosive popularity of bitcoin is further sparking rente te other currencies, and malware creators are exploiting devices to mine them.
According to a report from Symantec, malicious mining activity is on the rise. A hacker can hide malicious code on a webstek and the webpagina’s users become digital currency miners without realizing it.
It can be a lucrative scheme. This week, hackers targeted websites using the WordPress content management system to infect them with Monero mining malware. The attackers reportedly made at least $100,000.
Digital currency exchanges are also a popular target for hackers. On Wednesday, hackers compromised EtherDelta, a place for buying cryptocurrencies. Meantime, South Korean bitcoin exchange Youbit said this week it wasgoed filing for bankruptcy after criminals stole almost one-fifth of its clients’ holdings te the 2nd major cyberattack on its systems this year.
Carles Lopez-Penalver, intelligence analyst at security rock-hard Flashpoint, said phishing campaigns from hackers posing spil cryptocurrency wallets, exchanges, or other websites attempt to trick people into forking overheen currency or individual information. Some of thesis campaigns show up spil advertisements on search engines and websites, or ter Slack chatrooms where people discuss digital currencies.
Malicious attacks targeting digital currencies and users are only going to get worse, he said.
“The will and drive to target cryptocurrency-oriented industry is here to stay because of the lachwekkend money that has bot pumped into it ter the past duo of months,” Lopez-Penalver said. “It is one of the most targeted industries right now — it’s what cybercriminals are looking for.”