January 22, 2022 8:00:59 pm
Cybercriminals are now stealing cryptocurrency wallet contents, passwords, and security phrases, targeting crypto wallets users have on their PCs, says a new report. According to Bitdefender, a cyber security firm, a crypto-wallet stealing malware dubbed ‘BHUNT’ enters computers through pirated software installs, and attacks Exodus, Electrum, Atomic, Jaxx, Ethereum, Bitcoin, and Litecoin wallets.
For the uninitiated, digital currencies such as Bitcoin, Ethereum or Dogecoin, are stored in something called a ‘wallet’, which can be accessed by using your ‘private key’—the crypto equivalent of a super-secure password— without which the crypto owner cannot access the currency. Desktop wallets store the private keys on your hard drive or SSD on your computer. Ideally, these are more secure than web and mobile wallets, as they don’t rely on third parties for their data and are harder to steal.
It should be noted that the malware comes packaged with pirated softwares which are downloaded using torrentz and other malicious websites. Once the malware is installed in your PC, it can transfer the funds of the users to another wallet, and also steal other private data residing in the infected computer. “While the malware primarily focuses on stealing information related to cryptocurrency wallets, it can also harvest passwords and cookies stored in browser caches,” explains Bitdefender’s report. “This might include account passwords for social media, banking, etc. that might even result in an online identity takeover.”
What makes this malware special is that it is heavily encrypted and it is packaged as digitally signed software, meaning that your computer won’t detect it as a form of malware. “All our telemetry originated from home users who are more likely to have cryptocurrency wallet software installed on their systems. This target group is also more likely to install cracks for operating system software, which we suspect is the main infection source,” the company said in its report.
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This malware has been detected worldwide, with its greatest concentration of infected users in India, followed by Australia, Egypt, Germany, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Norway, Singapore, South Africa, Spain, and the US.
To avoid being infected by BHUNT, the company notes that users should simply avoid downloading pirated software, cracks, and illegitimate product activators.
Meanwhile, earlier in December, downloading pirated copies of ‘Spider-Man: No Way Home’ from torrent sites came with an unwanted cryptocurrency mining malware, warned researchers at Reason Cybersecurity. According to the researchers, the illicit copies of the latest Spider-Man movie includes a variant of malware dubbed ‘Spiderman,’ that had previously been disguised as popular apps such as ‘Windows updater’ and ‘Discord app.’
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