Monthly Archives: September 2011

Update Sept 14, 2011: Malware, Crimeware, Trojans and Phishing in the Bitcoin Economy

I’ve spend 8 years tracking internet cyber crime, and am involved with numerous banks, security companies and industry working groups to track and prevent it. It’s no surprise that as the Bitcoin virtual currency expands in adoption and value, that criminals begin to attack it and those who use it.

Here is my summary of recent criminal activities against Bitcoin, Bitcoin businesses, and Bitcoin users:
– Sept 14, 2011. Bitcoin GPU mining trojan distributed over twitter retweets
– Sept 13, 2011. More Mt.Gox phishing
– Sept 12, 2011. User says Mt.Gox account hacked and funds sent to the Ukraine
– Sept 10, 2011. forum hacked by Cosbycoin
– Sept 09, 2011. 35 trojans targeting Bitcoin detected by Kaspersky Labs
– Aug 30, 2011. Mt. Gox Phishing attacks
– Aug 8, 2011. hacked. Goes bankrupt. Refunds only 49% of funds to customers
– June 20, 2011. MT. Gox exchange hacked, causing massive crash of Bitcoin value. Deeper analysis is here.

NEWS: proposed new attack on Namecoin, a fork of the Bitcoin technology:
– Coming on Sept 16, 2011. Namecoin to be attacked at block #19200


Microsoft Pushes Reserve Bank of Australia on Virtual Cash Currencies

Microsoft executives are lobbying the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) to consider adopting virtual currencies such as Bitcoin.

Microsoft representatives say “While these systems are generally closed at this point of time, it is foreseeable that consumers may desire in the future to exchange value between the various schemes and that they could well become more widespread and prevalent within online retail environments.”

I believe that there is a need for an interoperable virtual currency that can work between systems. For example, earn credits in an online card game, and then transfer them and spend them in an online RPG game or online Scrabble. Bitcoin or its derivatives could be the currency to make this a reality.