- Security TWENTY
- Women in Security
Bitcoin, a digital currency and payment system introduced in 2009, has been subject to an increasing amount of attention from thieves. Although the system itself is protected by strong cryptography, thieves have stolen millions of dollars of bitcoin from victims by exploiting weaknesses in BBitcoin private key storage systems.
Since BBitcoin’s introduction, an increasing number of alternative digital currencies (altcoins) have been created, based on the original Bitcoin client’s source code. Even though none of these altcoins have approached the per-coin value of Bitcoin, some have achieved total market caps measuring in the millions of dollars. As a result, these altcoins have also been targeted for theft.
Mass theft of cryptocurrency is usually accomplished through the hacking of exchanges or marketplaces. These thefts are typically well-publicized, and the total number of stolen coins is known. However, another category of Bitcoin theft targets individual users’ wallets or exchange accounts via malware such as general-purpose remote access trojans (RATs) or specialized cryptocurrency-stealing malware (CCSM). Due to the skyrocketing value of cryptocurrencies since the beginning of 2013 and the relative simplicity of coding malware and tools to steal cryptocurrency, the Dell SecureWorks Counter Threat Unit™ (CTU) research team predicts that CCSM will become one of the fastest-growing categories of malware.
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