According to Trustwave, an Internet security firm, hackers have tainted hundreds of thousands of computers with a botnet dubbed “Pony.” Don’t let the cutesy name fool you though; Pony goes after people where it really hurts by stealing their Bitcoins.
To this point, Trustwave states that roughly 85 digital wallets have been swiped by the botnet, and that the wallets contained Bitcoins along with other forms of digital cash. However, it’s currently unknown how many Bitcoins have been absconded with, and what other types of alternative currencies were taken as a result of the attacks. Other popular (and valuable) crypto-currencies include Litecoin and Dogecoin.
Here’s what Ziv Mador, security research director with Chicago-based Trustwave had to say about the Pony attacks on Bitcoin users.
“It is the first time we saw such a widespread presence of this type of malware. It was on hundreds of thousands of machines.”
Jinyoung Lee Englund, Director of Public Affairs for the Bitcoin Foundation, weighed in on the issue as well:
“Electronic wallet security continues to improve by leaps and bounds as hardware wallets become available and we start to see software wallets that support multi-signature transactions.”
Though Trustwave has intervened by addressing the servers that were running the infected computers infected with the Pony botnet, the security firm nevertheless expects the perpetrators to launch additional attacks on those who use Bitcoin and other such currencies.
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