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Bitcoin-Stealing Malware: Now In 100 Flavors

Specialized malware empties electronic wallets of digital currency, and antivirus often misses it, say researchers at RSA Conference.

RSA CONFERENCE 2014 -- San Francisco -- For just $35, you can buy a popular, specialized malware tool that steals Bitcoins and other such electronic currency -- and researchers have unearthed more than 100 different malware families that specialize in this form of theft.

Dell SecureWorks researchers Joe Stewart and Pat Litke discovered 80 of those cryptocurrency-stealing malware families in the past year as thieves clamor to cash in on the growing use of digital currency. Some of the malware variants are custom, while others are cranked out via malware-generator tools, but, either way, the average rate of detection across all antivirus tools is just below 50%, the researchers said at the RSA Conference this week.

[For more from RSA, see RSA Conference 2014: Complete Coverage.]

"[Bitcoins and digital currency] are very easy to steal," said Joe Stewart, director of malware research for SecureWorks. While some sophisticated hackers are stealing the currency, many of the thieves are novice "script kiddies" who get the cheap tools to snatch the currency from unsuspecting victims.

Read the rest of this story on Dark Reading.

Kelly Jackson Higgins is Executive Editor at She is an award-winning veteran technology and business journalist with more than two decades of experience in reporting and editing for various publications, including Network Computing, Secure Enterprise ... View Full Bio

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