According to a new report by Kaspersky Lab, an online security company, bitcoin malware has still been circulated for the year but the number of attacks has declined. These attacks usually come in the form of malicious emails that encrypt ransomware on computers and demand bitcoin payments to unlock the files or remove malware.
The company’s report on cybersecurity threats showed that bitcoin malware attacks accounted for 9% of financial bugs detected. Programs that stole funds from bitcoin wallets accounted for 6%. In comparison to Kaspersky’s Q2 report last year, illicit bitcoin malware accounted for 14% of online bugs while bitcoin wallet theft comprised 8%.
Bitcoin Malware Issues
Earlier this year, a number of companies and government agencies have reportedly been hacked by cybercriminals demanding bitcoin ransom payments. One such example is bitcoin ransomware Cryptowall, which spurred roughly $18 million in losses. Authorities are having difficulties tracking these perpetrators down because bitcoin transactions are anonymous and cannot be traced easily.
The firm inferred that the decline in bitcoin malware attacks probably had something to do with the decline in bitcoin prices, particularly compared to the previous two years. Back in 2013, bitcoin has skyrocketed to nearly $1200 while the price is down to roughly $250 these days.
Other important points from the Kaspersky report worth noting are that 83% of financial malware are related to banking software and that mobile threats are on the rise. This suggests that ransomware developers are taking advantage of the increasing market share of mobile apps and the rising investment of banks in mobile platforms.
The report also showed that an average of 40% of computers worldwide were targeted at least once during the second quarter of this year. This enhances the need for cybersecurity and could strengthen the rationale for oversight on the bitcoin industry, possibly allowing authorities to trace where bitcoin transactions are originating and going.