A cryptocurrency is a digital medium of exchange that is used to carry out transactions in the virtual world. In recent years, currencies such as Bitcoin experienced a tremendous boom, reaching a maximum historical economic value of US$20,000. Cybercriminals saw a great business opportunity that led to the development of crypto mining malware.
Crypto-jacking, which consists of the mining of coins, that is, in allocating power from the processor of devices such as computers or smartphones to perform calculations that verify the transactions of the digital currency, remains one of the main trends in malware attacks. Therefore, it is essential to know the variants that are most used in order to put the necessary security measures in place.
Check Point also notes that in addition to companies, cryptocurrency exchange platforms are also another of target of cybercriminals. Here are 4 types of cryptocurrency hacks most used in recent times:
- Phishing: This type of hacking basically cheats cryptocurrency owners. To do this, cybercriminals create fake websites with an appearance that is almost identical to that of an official cryptocurrency purchase or exchange page to impersonate their identity and make anyone believe that they are accessing a trusted page or site. In addition, this practice is usually accompanied by a campaign to send emails with special offers to ensure that users who receive this information click on the link that comes within the mail to, once they reach the fake website, enter their information and bank credentials.
- Ransomware: Along with phishing, it is one of the types of cyber attacks with the greatest history in the world of cybersecurity. In this case, a computer virus is unintentionally downloaded to any computer (mainly computers) and that encrypts all the files it stores, thus preventing access to information. The only way to solve this problem is through the payment of a ransom, which in this case is done by transferring cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin or Monero, among others, to the cybercriminal that is behind the attack.
- Keyloggers: This type of threat, which is more modern than the previous ones, is very dangerous, since it is much more difficult for the victim to detect. Keyloggers are computer programs that are downloaded and installed without the user’s knowledge. It detects keystrokes and movements of the keyboard and mouse. In this way, a cybercriminal can find out the user data and password to access a cryptocurrency purchase or exchange service without the victim noticing.
- Banking Trojans: This threat is a type of malware that is generally presented as legitimate software, but once downloaded offers cybercriminal remote access and full control of the equipment and the information that the victim stores in it. In this way, an attacker can spy on his victim and, thus, have access to his cryptocurrency keys and passwords and then be able to steal them.
These forms of hacking have a common objective: to gain the credentials of their victims and obtain a great economic benefit. In addition, the ways in which cybercriminals tend to disseminate this type of computer virus are usually through emails that contain malicious files, or that invite users to visit websites that, in reality, are not what they seem. For this reason, it is essential that users become aware of the need to increase the levels of caution when they receive an email from a suspicious recipient, so they should not click on any link or download attachments.
In addition, the company also warns of the need for security tools that help us navigate safely. Check Point has ZoneAlarm Exteme Security, whose free extension Anti-Phishing Chrome Extension scans and deletes websites before the user enters their personal information, alerting him if it is a safe site to use or a phishing site. ZoneAlarm also offers, in its Extreme Security version, protection against more types of cyber attacks, such as the registration of keystrokes, rescue software or infection with advanced viruses and malware.