With digital currency, endpoint protection is vital

by Charles Leaver

March 6, 2014

access_time 3 min read

Perhaps people who shifted over to using digital currency like Bitcoin thought that money theft would become a thing of the past. But thieves exist in every realm, and digital currency is no exception.

The mounting threat of Bitcoin malware
Since its introduction as a form of cryptocurrency, Bitcoin has gradually been gaining momentum as more people discover its appeal. In Japan, the popularity of Bitcoin is such that the government is looking into enacting regulatory measures of the dissemination and exchange of bitcoins. At a news conference, Japanese government spokesperson Yoshihide Suga said the government is currently "in the information-gathering stage" with regard to its probe of Bitcoin use, The New York Times reported.

But for Bitcoin it seems there is a price to pay for popularity, and it comes in the form of malware. Just as the market for digital currency has expanded, so too has the malware market, and there now exists malware available for a mere $35 that enables the owner to steal electronic currency, Dark Reading reported.

Dell SecureWorks carried out a research project that uncovered 80 such malware tools circulating in the cybersphere. According to SecureWorks' staff, the presence of this malware attests to the inherent vulnerability of digital dollars, which, according to its malware research director Joe Stewart, "are very easy to steal." The susceptibility of digital currencies to breaches will become a bigger problem as Bitcoin and its ilk continue to gain legitimacy. If, for instance, banks choose to start accepting Bitcoin, then the malware problem has the potential to spread to these institutions.

For all data in transit, particularly highly privileged data like currency, it is important to have the best endpoint security measures possible. Otherwise, users risk exposing themselves to malware that could become a major hassle.