Menu
Bitcoin market price app, 'Bitcoin Alarm,' is carefully cloaked malware

Bitcoin market price app, 'Bitcoin Alarm,' is carefully cloaked malware

The application contains a remote access Trojan, Arbor Networks said

Bitcoin Alarm, an application that sends bitcoin market price alerts, contains suspicious functions that may be used to steal the virtual currency, according to Arbor Networks.

Bitcoin Alarm, an application that sends bitcoin market price alerts, contains suspicious functions that may be used to steal the virtual currency, according to Arbor Networks.

If you get a spam message advertising an application called "Bitcoin Alarm," the name may tell you all you need to know.

The desktop Windows application sends price alerts by SMS to a mobile phone. But closer examination of its code turned up several suspicious traits that indicate it may try to steal the virtual currency, wrote Kenny MacDermid, a research analyst with security company Arbor Networks.

Bitcoin's skyrocketing value this year has drawn wide interest from investors as well as from cybercriminals. Bitcoins are secured by public key cryptography, and if the private key for a bitcoin is obtained, the virtual currency can be stolen in a flash.

MacDermid received three spam messages in one day promoting Bitcoin Alarm.

"I ignored it the first two times, but they must have really wanted me to look at it, so who am I not to oblige?" he wrote.

Tucked inside Bitcoin Alarm is a script that checks whether security software from Avast is running. If so, it stays quiet for 20 seconds. "It's a pretty solid chance that if software is checking for an antivirus engine, that it's up to no good," MacDermid wrote.

An encrypted file inside Bitcoin Alarm turned out to be a remote-access Trojan called NetWiredRC, which can be used to steal login credentials and, in this case, bitcoins, he wrote.

MacDermid submitted Bitcoin Alarm to VirusTotal, an online service that runs suspicious software programs through more than four dozen antivirus suites. On the first pass, only Kaspersky Lab's product detected Bitcoin Alarm, although more antivirus suites are picking it up now, MacDermid wrote.

"This free utility is nothing more than malware with very low detection rate being spammed to anyone that might have a bitcoin sitting around," he wrote.

A website for Bitcoin Alarm was created on Nov. 19, according to data from Domain Tools. A YouTube video showing how to install the application was uploaded there two weeks ago. The demonstration video uses a Windows computer set for German.

Efforts to reach Bitcoin Alarm via an email address on its website were not immediately successful.

Send news tips and comments to jeremy_kirk@idg.com. Follow me on Twitter: @jeremy_kirk

Follow Us

Join the New Zealand Reseller News newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags arbor networksInternet-based applications and servicessecurityinternetmalware

Featured

Slideshows

Arrow exclusively introduces Tenable Network Security to A/NZ channel

Arrow exclusively introduces Tenable Network Security to A/NZ channel

Arrow Electronics introduced Tenable Network Security to local resellers in Sydney last week, officially launching the distributor's latest security partnership across Australia and New Zealand. Representing the first direct distribution agreement locally for Tenable specifically, the deal sees Arrow deliver security solutions directly to mid-market and enterprise channel partners on both sides of the Tasman.

Arrow exclusively introduces Tenable Network Security to A/NZ channel
Examining the changing job scene in the Kiwi channel

Examining the changing job scene in the Kiwi channel

Typically, the New Year brings new opportunities for personnel within the Kiwi channel. 2017 started no differently, with a host of appointments, departures and reshuffles across vendor, distributor and reseller businesses. As a result, the job scene across New Zealand has changed - here’s a run down of who is working where in the year ahead…

Examining the changing job scene in the Kiwi channel
​What are the top 10 tech trends for New Zealand in 2017?

​What are the top 10 tech trends for New Zealand in 2017?

Digital Transformation (DX) has been a critical topic for business over the last few years and IDC is now predicting a step change as DX reaches macroeconomic levels. By 2020 a DX economy will emerge and it will become the core of what New Zealand industries focus on. From the board level through to the C-Suite, Kiwi organisations must be prepared to think and act digital when the DX economy emerges in 2017.

​What are the top 10 tech trends for New Zealand in 2017?
Show Comments