A rise in cheap, easy-to-use malware means it's easier than ever for cyber criminals to steal cryptocurrency.
[...] the growing value of cryptocurrency means it has quickly become a key target for cyber criminals and they're increasingly launching attacks which aim to steal cryptocurrency from the wallets of individual users.
Research by Chainalysis warns that cryptocurrency users are increasingly under threat from malware including information stealers, clippers – which allow attackers to replace text the user has copied, redirecting cryptocurrency to their own wallets – and trojans, all of which can be purchased for what's described as "relatively little money" on cyber criminal forums.
For example, a form of info stealer malware called Redline is advertised on Russian cyber crime forums at $150 for a month's subscription or $800 for 'lifetime' access. For a cyber criminal looking to steal cryptocurrency, it's sadly highly likely they'll make back the money paid for the malware within a handful of attacks.
The illicit service also provides users with a tool which allows attackers to encrypt the malware so it's more difficult for anti-virus software to detect, increasingly the likelihood of attacks successfully stealing cryptocurrency from compromised victims.
"The proliferation of cheap access to malware families like Redline means that even relatively low-skilled cybercriminals can use them to steal cryptocurrency," warns the report.
Overall, the malware families in the report have received 5,974 transfers from victims in 2021, up from 5,449 in 2020 - although that's down significantly on 2019 which saw more that 7,000 transfers.