Feeds

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

New nasty specifically targets Bitcoin China exchange

SANS - Survey on application security programs

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. ®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Obama allows NSA to exploit 0-days: report
If the spooks say they need it, they get it
Samsung Galaxy S5 fingerprint scanner hacked in just 4 DAYS
Sammy's newbie cooked slower than iPhone, also costs more to build
Snowden-inspired crypto-email service Lavaboom launches
German service pays tribute to Lavabit
Mounties always get their man: Heartbleed 'hacker', 19, CUFFED
Canadian teen accused of raiding tax computers using OpenSSL bug
One year on: diplomatic fail as Chinese APT gangs get back to work
Mandiant says past 12 months shows Beijing won't call off its hackers
Call of Duty 'fragged using OpenSSL's Heartbleed exploit'
So it begins ... or maybe not, says one analyst
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
SANS - Survey on application security programs
In this whitepaper learn about the state of application security programs and practices of 488 surveyed respondents, and discover how mature and effective these programs are.