Feeds

First China banned Bitcoin. Now its crooks are using malware to steal traders' wallets

New nasty specifically targets Bitcoin China exchange

The Power of One eBook: Top reasons to choose HP BladeSystem

Cybercrooks have developed a strain of malware that actively targets BTC China and other Bitcoin exchanges.

A Zeus P2P/Gameover variant discovered by Trusteer is designed to steal the passwords of traders in the virtual currency. A blog post by the IBM-owned transaction security firm (extract below) explains that the malware is specially designed to trick potential victims into supplying one time passwords that might be needed for successful account takeovers.

This Gameover variant waits until an infected user attempts to log into the BTC China website. When this occurs, the malware steals the victim’s username and password and suspends the session temporarily. Once the cybercriminal has the victim’s credentials he can easily perform an account takeover and assume control of the Bitcoins associated with the account.

The reason for pausing the session is that the cybercriminal may need to ask the victim for their one time password (OTP). To do so, the malware will use simple social engineering techniques, combined with HTML injection, and present the victim with a request for the OTP under the false pretense of a security measure.

ZeuS variants are commonly used for conventional electronic banking account takeovers and looting.

The arrival of the Bitcoin-targeting malware variant came shortly before BTC China, China's largest exchange, began blocking new deposits. This and a related regulatory clampdown by the Chinese government are blamed for taking a huge toll on the crypto-currency’s value over recent days. interest from Chinese speculators was credited as playing a big part in a previous stratospheric rise that saw Bitcoin values soar to well over $1000, before dropping to $600 this week.

Tough new restrictions are thought to have motivated an a denial of service attack against China’s central bank on Wednesday.

Etay Maor, fraud prevention manager at Trusteer, added that cybercrooks in general are interested in Bitcoin mainly as a means of laundering ill-gotten funds

"So far, it is worth noting that most cybercriminals, whether they see Bitcoins as a platform or a target, are not keen on keeping their capital in Bitcoins," Maor writes. "Rather, criminals use the currency as a middleman for laundering funds without leaving any tracks. They sometimes use additional services such as the Tor hidden service “Bitcoin Fog Company” as an additional anti-trace back step."

"With the growing use and popularity of this currency we can expect to see more Man in the Browser (MitB) malware variants targeting Bitcoin exchanges and related sites," he added. ®

The Power of One eBook: Top reasons to choose HP BladeSystem

More from The Register

next story
HIDDEN packet sniffer spy tech in MILLIONS of iPhones, iPads – expert
Don't panic though – Apple's backdoor is not wide open to all, guru tells us
Mozilla fixes CRITICAL security holes in Firefox, urges v31 upgrade
Misc memory hazards 'could be exploited' - and guess what, one's a Javascript vuln
BMW's ConnectedDrive falls over, bosses blame upgrade snafu
Traffic flows up 20% as motorway middle lanes miraculously unclog
LibreSSL RNG bug fix: What's all the forking fuss about, ask devs
Blow to bit-spitter 'tis but a flesh wound, claim team
Manic malware Mayhem spreads through Linux, FreeBSD web servers
And how Google could cripple infection rate in a second
Yorkshire cops fail to grasp principle behind BT Fon Wi-Fi network
'Prevent people that are passing by to hook up to your network', pleads plod
Don't look, Snowden: Security biz chases Tails with zero-day flaws alert
Exodus vows not to sell secrets of whistleblower's favorite OS
Researcher sat on critical IE bugs for THREE YEARS
VUPEN waited for Pwn2Own cash while IE's sandbox leaked
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.