What Is Crypto Malware?

The unregulated and decentralized characteristics of cryptocurrencies have made them very popular among investors and traders alike. 

Besides, crypto is far more accessible to people today than ever before; as earlier, the only way we could get our hands on crypto was by mining it. However, today we have exchanges that have allowed users to buy and sell cryptocurrencies easily. 

The utility of cryptocurrencies has grown to the extent that platforms like Coingate have also enabled users to make hassle-free online purchases of gift cards for e-commerce platforms like Flipkart and Amazon using Bitcoin.

Sadly, this increase in the number of crypto users has further fueled the frauds in the world of crypto trading. One such prevalent threat comes in the form of crypto-malware used by these con artists using the malware as a tool to access random Blockchain wallets and steal their crypto. 

Continue reading as we decipher crypto-malware and explore the possibilities of safety. Let’s get started!

Definition Of Crypto Malware

In simple terms, crypto-malware is a type of computer malware used by hackers and threat actors to access someone’s server or computer and mine the cryptocurrencies without the owner realizing it. Unlike other frauds, it is also no longer hidden. This practice is generally carried out by sending an email to the recipient with an attachment programmed to infiltrate the system and encode files as soon as one opens the extension. 

Many cases have also observed where the sender was informed that their files are being held hostage. The sender will have to send money in the form of Bitcoins in exchange for the decryption key needed for restoring the files.

Reasons Fueling The Rise Of Crypto Malware Attacks?

The primary reason behind the rise of crypto-malware attacks is the increasing valuation of cryptocurrencies. This offers cybercriminals an easy way to make a significant amount of money in a short period with minimal effort. Once a crypto-malware gets access to our device, it can run for an indefinite time without any assistance or supervision from the sender. This enables the cybercriminals to maintain a steady flow of undetected returns on their crypto-malware as long as the code remains undetected.

There is no doubt there are guys on the good side who are trying their best to develop some innovative and ingenious solution to this problem. This has further encouraged the threat actors to come up with more new and advanced codes that are even harder to detect. The way things are going at present, chances are very high that these crypto-malware attacks will only increase in the future unless the tech geeks come up with something to counter these malicious attacks.          

Difference Between Crypto Malware Attacks And Crypto-Ransomware Attacks

The only similarity between crypto-malware attacks and crypto-ransomware attacks is that both the programs are coded to extort money from the recipient. However, the methodologies used in both attacks are different in many ways. 

In case of ransomware attacks, the threat actor will encrypt the victim’s files and keep them that way unless the victim makes the payment. If the victim fails to make the payment, the attackers will probably sell the information on the dark web to earn some money. This is one of the most lucrative ways for cyber attackers to make money. Numbers suggest that the cost incurred for ransomware attacks in 2020 lies somewhere around $20 billion.

In the case of ransomware attacks, the attackers demand the money directly, but that is not the case with crypto-malware attacks. On the contrary, crypto-malware operates in silence within the background of the victim’s server or computer. Here the attackers hope that the code remains undetected on the system for as long as possible. This will enable them to mine cryptocurrencies from the victims’ computers for as long as possible.

How To Safeguard Yourself From Crypto Malware Attacks?

As we have already known, it is very challenging to detect crypto-malware codes making it even more difficult to put up a defense against them. However, the best one can do is adhere to practices that ensure responsible online behavior on our part. Some of these practices include:

  • Refrain accessing URLs that do not begin with HTTPS.
  • Always make sure to enable two-way authentication as this makes it very difficult for the attackers to access the system.
  • Never forget to turn on the spam as this will help us prevent unwanted and malicious emails from entering our systems and infecting them.
  • Spend some money on different cyber security software solutions as they can seamlessly detect various threats and even prevent them from infecting our systems.

Final Thoughts

There is no denying that malicious activities such as crypto-malware attacks and crypto-ransomware attacks are significant drawbacks for crypto trading. These practices will further encourage centralized authorities to put in more substantial restrictions against crypto trading, which will not benefit us in the long run. Therefore, we must put in the required efforts to find practical solutions to uproot these kinds of issues that can hinder the growth of cryptocurrencies.            

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