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Cybercriminals Have Their Eyes Set on Bitcoin

16
Sep
2011

It seems like Bitcoin is gaining popularity not only in the computing industry, but in the threat landscape as well.

We’ve recently reported a couple of attacks involving malware that installs a Bitcoin mining application into affected systems. Apart from turning systems into unwilling “miners”, such malware also disrupt usage, since the mining process takes up a great deal of system resources.

In the midst of the talks about security issues surrounding Bitcoin, we found some attacks that target Bitcoin users, but through different means.

One of our Fraud Analysts, Maela Angeles, recently brought to our attention the emergence of phishing sites that target users of Mt. Gox, a popular exchange for Bitcoin.

Seeing this kind of threat, one may not help but think that a similar attack was probably used to compromise a certain Bitcoin account, which later led to the drop of Bitcoin price from US $17.5 to cents. Mt. Gox issued an advisory about the rise of phishing attacks late last month.

In the course of our efforts in understanding more and more how Bitcoin is affecting the threat landscape, we encountered a webmaster who reported to us that he received a threat from a cybercriminal, saying that his website will be DoS-ed unless he pays 100 Bitcoins to a certain account.

The nature of Bitcoin presents many opportunities for abuse, as well as utilization for cybercriminal operations, and increase of threats we’re seeing now is definitely just the beginning.

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