How Bitcoin is under attack from cyber criminals

Due to the crypto nature of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies that are now in the forefront of investors minds and also the national press, it was only a matter of time before hackers would want to take advantage of the situation. We are going to give you a quick overview of some of the ways that they are doing this so that you can be vigilant and protect yourself from falling victim to a Bitcoin hack.

Trojans during transfer

Trojans are used by hackers to sit and monitor your computer or device to find a cryptocurrency account number format, when it has identified this it will then go live and replace the account number you are intending to trade to with their account number.

Hacked sites

A common method of hacking bitcoin is through the centralised website being hacked. Some sites manage up to millions of dollars worth of cryptocurrency and once they are hacked the value that has been built up can vanish forever. If you do use a cryptocurrency site, make sure it is a trustworthy site and is well secured. Also, make sure that you always back up your bitcoin value to an offline location.

Stealing your ‘wallet’

When you deal with crypto-currencies such as bitcoin, they store their value in a ‘wallet’ but these can be stolen, transferred or infiltrated. Due to human error in forgetting security information it can lead to the wallet being inaccessible. One way to avoid this is to keep your cryptocurrency in an offline ‘wallet’ that is untouchable by hackers or any malware programs. However, some things to note are that it can make it harder to use, access or update the value of your wallet. If you do decide that you are going to use an online ‘wallet’ make sure that you use multi-factor authentication to protect it as much as possible.

Bitcoin malware

When a bitcoin is mined it causes problems for creating future bitcoins, in order to mine bitcoins, the computers that do this utilise a lot of electricity to run and cool them. This operational cost can be high to a hacker that is wanting to mine bitcoin and therefore they steal resources like this to do it. The normal resource location is their employer, but an alternative is to spread mining malware. This works in the same way that any malware program does, it hijacks a computer or devise without authorisation and allows bitcoin mining to take place. This method of hacking bitcoin can be stopped in the same way as any other malware program - using a malware removal software.

There are always evolving hacking methods and new players that will come to the field of cryptocurrency hacking, but these four methods are some of the most common and have simple ways that you can protect yourself from being victimised by them.

Stuart Harwood