Posted on September 10, 2018 at 11:55 AM
The latest security research report has exposed a Bitcoin malware which cost as much as $25,000 in the black market. Rather than harming the customers, it appears that the malware is directed at the ATM operators. This revelation is coming from a security software proprietor based in Tokyo.
Bitcoin ATMs Now Suffers Malware Attack
A $25,000 malware directed at Bitcoin ATMs is currently ravaging in the black market. This became known courtesy of a security report lately released from Tokyo. The malware is said to take advantage of the loopholes in Bitcoin ATM to exploit the crypto. It allows the hackers to fraudulently receive an amount close to 6,750 USD, Pounds, or Euros without transacting Bitcoin with operators of the ATM.
Trend Micro reported that the seller of the malware sells malware for non-Bitcoin ATMs too. This malware is said to be updated to EMV standard and it is on sale on other threads. And although the ATM malware is usable anywhere in the world, the vendor only renders support to users in the Russian, German, or English-speaking markets.
ATMs for Bitcoin on a Daily Rise
One innovation that has been accompanying the growth of Bitcoin is the increase in the number of its ATMs. BTC ATMs are increasing worldwide because the industry wants to popularize the crypto. This has helped the nascent industry to an extent until this latest attack.
Traditionally, regular ATMs have always been the object of various cyber-attacks. But now, according to Threat Researchers working for Trend Micro, the attention of hackers seem to have been diverted to BTC ATMs.
Surprisingly, the Bitcoin malware has not received much global attention as it ought to do. This may not be unconnected with the number of available machines globally. Before now, Bitcoin ATMs are sizeable. But with the current expansion, it is necessary to give the trend a serious attention it deserves.
A June report has put the total number of Bitcoin ATMs in the world at 3,500. Out of this, not less than 2,166 are situated in the USA alone while the UK has 171. Among the leading BTC ATM centers in Russia too. It has 72 ATMs. Austria accommodates about 153 while Switzerland boasts of 29 Bitcoin ATMs. Evidently, many German-speaking countries have a significant number of the Bitcoin ATMs.
No Common Standard for the ATM Attack
Cybersecurity researchers have identified the absence of standardization as a reason for the malware’s success. In the words of Fernando Merces who is a senior researcher at Trend Micro, he says:
Unlike regular ATMs, there is no single set of verification or security standards for Bitcoin ATMs. For example, instead of requiring an ATM, credit, or debit card for transactions, a Bitcoin ATM involves the use of mobile numbers and ID cards for user identity verification… The user then has to input a wallet address or scan its QR code. The wallets used to store digital currencies are not standardized either and are often downloaded from app stores, posing another security problem.
Unfortunately, reports from Trend Micro says the marketer of the malware has received a lot of reviews. This may imply that a lot of people are using it, and this is in no way good for the business.
In what could be a further threat to Bitcoin, the vendor of the malware is reported to be seeking partnerships from firms. This partnership is aimed at getting the malware to be used on a large scale.
Furthermore, the vendor seems to have perfected plans at switching off the ATM alarms when the dubious act is on-going. As such Trend Micro cautions Bitcoin customers to be wary of this trend.