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Dell says that Surging Value of Bitcoin Leads to More Attention of Cybercriminals

According to annual threat report released last year by Dell SonicWALL Threat Research Team, the soaring value of the Bitcoin digital currency in 2013 has resulted more attention of criminals with large number of malware families now attempting to steal Bitcoins along with more than 40 other crypto-currencies also.

Joe Stewart, Director of malware Research , Dell SecureWorks and his associate Pat Litke, Security Analysis Advisor, at the company's Counter threat Unit tracked a speedy surge in the amount of malware families stealing cryptocurrency during last four-months which hackers are aware of, published Computerworld.in on March 3, 2014.

Computerworld.in published news on 3rd March, 2014 quoting Litke noted: "As the cost of (of bitcoins) surges, bad actors increase spreading of malware accordingly."

It is not surprising to observe a strong co-relation between bitcoin (BTC) values and the quantity of novel malware families.

The duo determined to dive into BTC-related malware and found that one of the reasons was poor detection skill of most conventional antivirus (AV) software. But they also expected that counting and classifying the malware would demonstrate security vendors' opportunity to develop their defenses and lessons learned from protection of cryptocurrency would make traditional net banking more secured.

Litke said that they counted over 100 unique families of BTC malware out of which many emerged in June (2013) as the value of BTC climbed.

Interestingly, researchers of SonicWALL observed an increase in Bitcoin-mining botnets during late 2013 which were designed to hijack computing power to extract Bitcoins without hardware or energy expenses in operation by criminals. They expect this trend to continue in 2014 also till the value of Bitcoin remains high.

The report also recognized Windows XP as one of the top 15 affected products targeted.

Dell Sonicwall said that Windows XP will continue to realize a surge in attacks because its support life cycle is ending in 2014. The report said that organizations that do not migrate to latest version of Windows and continue to use Windows XP without Microsoft support and patching are more vulnerable and researchers expecting exploits targeting Windows 7/8 to increase during 2014.

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