Hackers try to get our money down in a variety of ways, but of the many sophisticated techniques they use, the blackmail virus attack is the most common today. It has not been seven weeks since we could not read about this kind of serious action against large-scale companies (Dessault, Kia Motors, Royal Dutch Schell, Toyota, Fujifilm, etc.) that spend a fortune on their safety
Cybercrime has come into vogue for a simple reason: it is very lucrative and the risk of falling short is relatively low. There are many estimates of the damage caused by hackers, some charge $ 1 trillion (or $ 1 trillion), but everyone agrees that we should not expect an improvement, the loss caused by criminals will increase rapidly in the coming time.
The range of types of attacks is wide, ranging from extortion viruses to selling stolen data on the Dark Web to hacking computers into a zombie network. Cybercriminals break pepper under our noses in many ways, but their actions have one thing in common: they try to make a profit in cryptocurrency.
Let’s see some characteristics a technique by which cybercriminals take money from their victims. Today, extortion viruses are the most popular, threatening individual users as well as institutions, and can cause huge alarm and chaos by locking personal data, documents, and key corporate files. Criminals act aggressively, give short deadlines to pay ransom and threaten to disclose their data if they do not pay, ie they also use psychological tools to break the resistance.
The extortion virus is a quick and profitable method, and the ransom can range from a few thousand to many millions of dollars. However, the extortion virus is loud and spectacular: when someone is attacked, it suddenly gets news of it, as the dreaded message immediately appears on the computer screen. This technique is not about hiding, it is about brutal attack.
However, hackers are happy to work with other methods. If they manage to sneak into a network unnoticed and linger there for a long time, by tapping into network communication and obtaining sensitive data, they can get information that can be of great interest in the black market. They can sell access on the Dark Web to other hackers and use their credit card information to make money directly.
This method is more insidious than a blackmail virus attack, but there is a risk of being trapped here as well and the stolen information is not needed by the dog either, i.e. a number of risk factors affect profits. But criminals also have a technology that can provide them with a lasting income.
Who doesn’t appreciate a little bit , and got into the system, the possibilities are limited only by your imagination. An attacker would most often install a backdoor or give him or her the ability to control the machine over a longer period of time. This type of persistent presence typically takes the form of a small, seemingly harmless stub, which is hidden by the hacker among the auto-launching codes.
The presence alone, of course, does not yet generate money. However, if you manage to install a small routine on the machine that uses the target’s resources to mine cryptocurrency, it can be very lucrative for the hacker.
This method turns the victim’s computer into a kind of slave that performs mathematical operations. to obtain Bitcoin, Ethereum, Monero, or other cryptocurrencies. This is the real gold mine for the criminal, as he uses the victim’s CPU, RAM and hardware, plus he doesn’t pay the electricity bill either. The technique is similar to its constant presence, the code tries to stay hidden here too, but it suddenly works when the computer is turned on.
Of the solutions listed above, slow cryptocurrency mining brings the least money in the short term to the kitchen. But if the attack goes unnoticed – and this is usually the case – it can become very rewarding in the long run, especially if the cybercriminate can seize not one, but a lot of machines at once. This technique is the most dormant, the least intrusive: in contrast to a blackmail virus attack, where the victim immediately learns that he is on a hook (and has to pay urgently if he wants to get rid of it), in cryptocurrency mining, the target has no idea that his desk computer generates money for someone else.
Cryptocurrency offers the perfect escape route for hackers because it provides anonymity for transactions. In the case of cryptocurrencies, no third party, bank or authority can have a say in the transaction, there are no handling fees, transaction fees, restrictions, no need to pay to maintain the account, no one can have a say – the hacker does what he wants with his money.
The revenue collected in cryptocurrencies allows cybercriminals to enjoy virtually complete anonymity, as financial transactions do not involve any usual personal identification (name, email address, etc.). Cryptocurrencies are, in fact, nothing more than digital data, and a wallet address is a long set of characters with no direct meaning at all.
Finally, the main attraction of a cryptocurrency for cybercriminals is that it can no longer be recovered. . It’s like cash: once it’s out of hand, we have no control over its future, so after a blackmail virus attack, the hacker can disappear without a trace.
From wallet to wallet
In the case of cryptocurrencies, however, transactions are stored in a public ledger and the blockchain makes the cash flow traceable. The question arises: if the transaction is public, how can criminals remain hidden? The explanation lies in the fact that wallet addresses and transfers do not contain personally identifiable information. In addition, hackers pass cryptocurrency through a large number of wallets and use digital devices to clean it.
They can even use an automatic service for this purpose: tornado.cash, which can be used to clean Ethereum. The more wallets the amount travels through, the harder it is to reconnect with the original person.
All of these reasons combine to make Bitcoin, Ethereum, and other cryptocurrencies so popular with hackers. Although they exist in the virtual world, they have real value and represent a specific amount that can be expressed in dollars, euros. The authorities do not see it, the market operates freely and, as its relationship with criminals is unprovable, it offers a uniquely good solution to unfair transactions.
Raven to raven
Many cybercriminals on the Dark Web offer virus and hacking tools, but payment is only possible in cryptocurrency. In most cases, QR helps to make the payment quickly. If for some reason the buyer would not be able to scan the QR code, they would have to copy a long address into the displayed payment application.
This is standard business in the virus market and hacker forums. And since cryptocurrency, as described earlier, is strongly tied to cybercrime, it would also be surprising if there had been no fraudulent solutions to clear cryptocurrency transactions. Copying and copying the wallet address provides an attack surface that hackers do not fail to take advantage of. The wallet address of the given length, containing letters and numbers, follows a clearly recognizable pattern, and cybercriminals can intrude into the system by observing the Clipboard to detect that the victim wants to send cryptocurrency to someone.
A code for this purpose is after, you can simply exchange the address for one that points to the criminal’s wallet, and so the amount migrates to the hacker instead of the seller. The situation is a bit grotesque, as in many cases one hacker steals the other with this method – but somehow we can’t really rejoice in this new form of crime.
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