As predicted, the rise of cryptocurrency valuation has captured the attention of cybercriminals. New hacks, thefts, misuse, and fraud schemes are on the rise. Where there is value, there will be a proportional risk of theft.
Criminals always pursue and exploit systems where they can achieve personal financial gain. It is the Willie Sutton effect: “That’s where the money is”.
This month we have seen a number of different cryptocurrency related malicious activities targeting customers and companies. Unsuspecting people’s computers and phones have been hijacked by attackers to mine cryptocoins, malware that targets crypto-keys is on the rise, fake Bitcoin wallet apps are appearing in App Stores, and a Bitcoin exchange was permanently shut down due to multiple hacks.
The creativity and persistence of cybercriminals is impressive and only likely to increase over time.
Comment: What is believed to be nation-state malware, is installing a Remote Access Trojan (RAT) that enables the theft of cryptocurrency credentials of users and exchanges. Whomever is behind this malware is interested, among other things, harvesting valuable digital currency. Financial gain is a tremendous motivation for so many different cyber threats, potentially even nation run cyber-criminal programs!
Comment: Sophisticated hackers are also targeting beefy database servers to harvest data, install cryptocoin mining software, Remote Access Trojans (RAT), botnet control functions, and likely to use them as a launching pad to propagate attacks against systems connecting to the database.
Comment: Cybersec Lesson #42: If you can't protect your digital assets from cyber-threats, it can cost you the business. This cryptocurrency exchange is filing bankruptcy and closing. It cites the two hacks which drained significant assets as the cause.
Comment: The WordPress community has been a favorite target of hackers for some time. The latest attack involves hackers using brute-force techniques to gain administrative access to websites then installing crypto mining malware. This has turned a profit for the criminals to the tune of more than $100 thousand dollars. With that type of reward, don’t expect this tactic to end anytime soon.
Comment: Beware, a new cryptocurrency mining-bot is making the rounds through Facebook Messenger. The malware allows attackers to siphon CPU cycles from the victim as part of a cryptocoin mining scheme. As a bonus, it then hijacks their Facebook account to send itself to the victims’ friends.
Comment: We will see more of these c. App Stores need to pay extra care in vetting crypto wallet apps. Much thanks to the Lookout security team for spotting these and Google for quickly removing them from the App Store.
Matthew Rosenquist is an industry-recognized pragmatic, passionate, and innovative strategic security expert with 28 years of experience. He thrives in challenging cybersecurity environments and in the face of ever shifting threats. A leader in identifying opportunities, driving industry change, and building mature security organizations, Matthew delivers capabilities for sustainable security postures. He has experience in protecting billions of dollars of corporate assets, consulting across industry verticals, understanding current and emerging risks, communicating opportunities, forging internal cooperation and executive buy-in, and developing practical strategies. Matthew is a trusted advisor, security expert, and evangelist for academia, businesses, and governments around the world. A public advocate for best-practices, and communicating the risks and opportunities emerging in cybersecurity. He delivers engaging keynotes, speeches, interviews, and consulting sessions at conferences and to audiences around the globe. He has attracted a large social following of security peers, is an active member on advisory boards, and quoted in news, magazines, and books. Matthew is a recognized industry expert, speaker, and leader who enjoys the pursuit of achieving optimal cybersecurity. Matthew Rosenquist is experienced in building world class teams and capabilities, managing security operations, evangelizing best-practices to the market, developing security products, and improving corporate security services.