Malware detecting Bitcoin ATMs can become the next big thing in crypto world 20674
Madhurima Roy
Aug 9, 2018 at 11:00 AM

Cryptocurrency market is maturing at a rapid rate. With the adoption rate increasing, cryptocurrency ATMs are also getting introduced at a steady pace that are significantly different from the traditional bank ATMs. However, Malware exploits a menu vulnerability to disconnect an ATM from the network in order to disable alarms.

“As long as there is money to be made — and there is quite a bit of money in cryptocurrencies — cybercriminals will continue to devise tools and to expand to lucrative new ‘markets.’ As the number of Bitcoin ATMs grows, we can expect to see more forms of  malware targeting cryptocurrency ATMs in the future.”

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For the greater understanding of everyone, Trend Micro, an IT security company, pinned the differences that Bitcoin (BTC) ATMs have with the regular ones.

Connecting banks vs exchanges

A Bitcoin ATM is different from a regular bank ATM. It is ‘more like a kiosk or terminal’. Elucidating the ‘most notable difference’, the Tokyo based security software manufacturer, said that while a regular ATM connects one’s account to it, Bitcoin ATM does not connect to a bank account. The Bitcoin ATM connects the user to a cryptocurrency exchange. After the Bitcoin is purchased, it goes to the customer’s digital wallet.

Security differences

Security is a factor that makes everyone turn their heads, knowing the importance it holds in all financial aspects. Highlighting the security differences between a regular ATM and a Bitcoin ATM, Trend Micro said: "Regular ATMs are popular targets for cybercriminals, and we have recently noted a shift away from physical tools such as skimmers to malware-based attacks. Bitcoin ATM malware has so far been much less talked about, perhaps because of the relatively low number of machines currently available globally."

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While in regular ATMs there is a single set of verification or security standards, it is not applicable for Bitcoin ATMs. A Bitcoin ATM involves the use of mobile numbers and ID cards for user identity verification, on the other hand, a regular ATM needs credit, or debit card for making transactions. "The user then has to input a wallet address or scan its QR code. The wallets used to store digital currencies are not standardized either and are often downloaded from app stores, posing another security problem. Given the seemingly Wild West nature of Bitcoin ATM security, cybercriminals are sure to take advantage."

"The actual listing for the malware contains more details. Buyers receive not just the malware but also a ready-to-use card that comes with EMV and NFC capabilities." A listing has shown that the malware exploits a service vulnerability that allows the user to receive bitcoins worth up to 6,750 in US dollars, euros, or pounds. "The malware does not come cheap, as it is being sold for US$25,000. The number of reviews (over 100) shows that the seller has earned quite a large amount from various offerings, including this malware."


Image via Shutterstock

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