Cyber-Thieves Hit the Jackpot from Malware, Bitcoin to Blame?
A recent study suggests that cyber-criminals can actually earn a colossal amount of returns through malware or ransomware investments. Ransomware can include malicious applications, machine infections, and key file scrambling. In most cases, these programs force the victim or machine owner to pay before the data can be reorganised. A ransomware scammer needs three things to initiate the cybercrime – the malware, the kit, and the group of susceptible victims.
In the world of cryptocurrency, everybody needs to be extra cautious. An estimated cost of 5K plus USD to purchase a ransomware kit can give an ROI of around 90K USD in just a month of operation. With an investment of 5K+ USD, anybody can get a malicious code, a package kit, and a database of victims to attack. All of which are available online and can be bought through Asian forums.
This potential will no doubt create a good amount of active populace of cyber-thieves. Trustwave has observed at the amount cybercriminals invest in these types of set-up and their prospective returns. The company has drawn its figures from information obtainable on hidden sites and forums.
Experts have taken great lengths to implore the Bitcoin Asia cryptocurrency community to take extra precautions and to avoid supporting the cause if they should be victimised. In just three months, high-tech extortion procedures have grown twice in the first quarter of this year according to Mc Afee Labs. Mikko Hypponen, chief research officer at F-Secure, has stated that bitcoin has been the catalyst to the progression of ransomware.
Unfortunately, it has become a part of the ecosystem and that not all members of the community operate with a good ethical ground. This no doubt hinders the positive advancement for the cryptocurrency that countless executives are pushing through for cryptocurrencies to gain mainstream adoption. The market has become so prevalent that cybercriminals are actually fighting over the same set of victims, and affiliate models where second-hand code becomes utilised by a different party for the same purpose.
The general cryptocurrency community is advised to create backups, check the expiry of installed software, and be apprehensive of questionable message attachments. It is of the utmost importance that the community be vigilant. Bitcoin has great positive potential uses, and highlighting them may just provide a healthy ecosystem for the cryptocurrency.