If you've ever dabbled in the cryptocurrency market, you might have wondered how safe that internet money sitting on your computer or phone was. Unfortunately, the answer to that question is not very safe at all - unless you're a cybersecurity expert or have an on-demand intelligence operation like Redsenseon your side.
Is Your Crypto Safe?
Unfortunately, if you own Bitcoin, the answer is probably not. The most popular digital coin also gave birth to a new acceleration in the world of malware and ransomware, as hackers started to steal more funds through intuitive attack vectors. As a result, it's unsurprising to learn that, according to the Verizon Data Breach Investigation Report, ransomware increased by over 13% back in 2021 - making it the largest increase in five years - as thieves seemingly entered a race to see how much money they could pilfer as the money flooded onto the internet. The rise in ransomware led to the average data breach cost increasing to $4.2 million circa 2023 - with a total of $20 billion stolen from unsuspecting internet users in just one year (2021).
These unscrupulous attackers use malware or ransomware known as "stealers," which are basically pieces of code that sit on an infected computer or device to gather as much data and information as possible.
Attackers are highly intelligent and leave no stone unturned to try and get data from their victims, targeting everything from online banking, social media, FTP accounts and crypto wallets as they aim to steal as much information as they can.
Rapidly Advancing Stealers Harvest Vast Amounts of Data
Stealers aren't new but are certainly getting much more advanced in how they trick victims into taking their data. The first prominent stealer (sometimes referred to as a Trojan after the famous Achaean trick) was introduced in 2006 when a savvy malware was released called Zeus, specifically targeting online banking. The malware managed to steal over $70 million at the time, and over 100 people were eventually arrested. Although the ring behind Zeus was ultimately destroyed, it changed the landscape of the internet forever by giving birth to a cascade of derivatives.
Trojan malware can get into your system in many ways, including malicious email attachments sent in spam campaigns, websites infected by exploit kits, malvertising, cracked applications or games and compromised GitHub accounts. In the crypto sector, the malware gets in through phishing applications designed to look like legitimate crypto apps, such as wallets or exchanges.
Each malware works in various ways, such as stealing credentials typed in by users, tricking you into thinking a form you're filling in is real by overlaying its own form, password stealing through keylogging, and much more. As soon as the malware is in your system, you can assume it's monitoring everything that's going on with your PC and is actively scanning each folder individually to see what it can find.
The results of these malware attacks can be absolutely devastating, ranging from an invasion of privacy or impersonation fraud all the way to blackmail and lost funds. RedLine is a perfect example of a stealer distributed as cracked games, applications, and services on the internet. It's malware that steals information from web browsers, crypto wallets, and a range of applications like FileZilla, Discord, Steam, and Telegram. It also takes information about the infected machine - so it knows everything that's running on the PC, such as the installed programs and the security implemented. The stealer can then follow actions that run and execute certain applications to steal information and send it back to the attacker. Most importantly, all the crypto wallets you think are safe are also at risk. The stealer can even target wallets like Metamask, BinanceChain, BraveWallet, Jaxx, and Coinbase - so you aren't safer than on a mobile device if this affects your PC.
Redsense Detects and Thwarts Emerging Malware Attacks
Early detection is one of the crucial ways to deal with malware. The attack needs to be identified as soon as possible before it starts to steal as much information as it can. Of course, you can use a handful of software as your first important line of defense, such as anti-malware and anti-virus. However, lots of malware are usually up-to-date with avoiding detection from the majority of anti-malware solutions that are available as attackers constantly update their code.
This is where a cybersecurity firm like Redsense comes into the picture. Redsense is a cutting-edge cybersecurity and threat intelligence firm that provides On-Demand Intelligence Operations to backstop teams against emerging malware attacks.
The software developed by Redsense monitors and tracks significant events within the industry to provide a deep insight into emerging threats and potential software vulnerabilities or exploits. The intelligence solution was created by analysts for analysts - so they know exactly what they're doing. Indeed, they have over forty years of combined experience in cyber intelligence fields like security operations, incident response, threat hunting and blue force architectures. They have used this experience to provide solutions for teams to develop and mature their own in-house security and intelligence.
Hacking The Hackers To Keep Client Data Safe
In terms of practical work against malware, Redsense has made significant strides. In the ultimate of maverick moves, they often infiltrate specific groups and hack the hackers to retrieve their data logs. Then, they reach out to those infected and provide all the information and data obtained to the FBI, which leads to arrests. This unique approach has helped many people save significant amounts of money from potential losses due to cybercrime.
The company reports that it collects 100,000+ logs using SIGINT (signals intelligence) and HUMINT (covert human intelligence) channels. When victims are identified, an email is sent to inform them of the attack and its details to help them mitigate the damage as quickly as possible. RedSense even helped over 22 users of the QRL quantum-resistance cryptocurrency wallets, enabling these individuals to protect their assets and save hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Overall, with the value of internet money increasing on vulnerable machines, users are at the mercy of these threats. Yet, with a company like Redsense watching their backs, they can navigate the tumultuous waters of the cryptocurrency space with a sense of security and resilience against the risks posed by malware.
SOURCE: The Quantum Resistance Corporation
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