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The Malware That’s Stealing Your Bitcoins (and How to Stop It)

Have you heard of the Bitcoin miner malware that’s infecting computers, and stealing funds worldwide? If not, it’s time to read up

A previously unidentified type of Bitcoin miner malware that’s been operational since 2013 just revealed itself to the global public. The program has infected computers in Brazil, Canada, the United States, and Peru, the latter of which was most severely affected. In total, the attack has generated more than 138 Bitcoins in profit for the culprits. For those who don’t know, that’s about $284,322 BRL, or $88,663.62 USD. How did the malware pull it off? With a botnet, a massive network of thousands, or even hundreds of thousands of infected computers.

Although the specific malware used in this attack is relatively new, Bitcoin theft is not. Since the cryptocurrency was created, malicious hackers have invented malware programs designed to rob Bitcoins from unsuspecting (and often unprotected) individuals. In 2014 alone, the U.S. tech security firm Dell Secureworks discovered approximately 80 different types of malware made specifically to procure Bitcoins.

How Bitcoin Stealing Malware Works

These programs work in several ways, and a fair amount of them can be operated by people with little to no experience in coding or programming. All they have to do is buy cheap, effective tools that can target vulnerable devices. In the hacker underground, someone can purchase PredatorPain, a highly infectious piece of malware that functions as a file, and credential-stealing Trojan program, for about $144 BRL (or $44 USD). Another program, SovietMiner, is designed to steal wallet files, and force infected devices to mine Bitcoins.

More specifically, it adds transaction records to Bitcoin’s public ledger of past transactions for the hacker’s profit. The latter costs about $48.89 BRL ($15 USD) per month. With general wallet-stealing malware, the virus searches for wallet files stored on the victim’s computer, and subsequently uploads applicable files to a remote server, where the hacker can extract the keys from said files, and obtain coins by signing a transaction to transfer the money to their account.

Safety First

Malware programs can infiltrate computers in several ways, but the most common method is to bug USB drives. The malware hides folders and files on the USB, replaces them with shortcuts, and effectively controls the infection of other devices that connect to the USB port.

While all this information may seem daunting, you should know that it’s within your means to protect yourself from these data breaches, and online attacks. By installing PSafe Total on your Android phone, you give yourself everything you need to defend your device from this sort of infectious malware. Don’t hesitate, and do what you can to protect yourself today.