Bitcoin

A Fake Malware for Bitcoin ATM is Found for Sale Online

Headquartered in Tokyo, cyber security company Trend Micro claims to have found a bitcoin ATM (automated teller machine) malware that has at the world’s disposal online. Although it is all false. It is a scam that is being percolated on the media.

Trend Micro released news about a suspicious advertisement that was published by an apparently established user on dark web platform. It claimed that not only could dark web users purchase bitcoin ATM malware for $25,000,  but they could also access an EMV ready-to-use card and near-field communication capabilities along with it.

Although a bitcoin ATM machine mirrors a basic ATM, it diffracts in certain aspects also; perhaps the most vibrant of all differences is the fact that bitcoin ATM is not linked to a bank account, but is connected to a cryptocurrency exchange. Here, the purchased bitcoin currency is transferred to the user’s digital wallet. In a nutshell, the bitcoin ATM is a terminal that permits users to link their wallets with exchanges. While EMV chips in the card would allow users to store data on integrated circuits, the NFC would permit two electronic devices to make exchanges without any wiring, and that was the concept behind working of the machine.

Regular ATMs are most common criminal targets, especially for cybercriminals, and there has been a shift in the methods of ATM theft recently; moving away from physical tools such as skimmers and towards malware-based attacks that deem convenient for cyber criminals. But hacking a bitcoin ATM is not easy. The security provided by bitcoin ATMs is lightyears ahead of normal ATMs.

Nevertheless, with increasing bitcoin ATMs popularity and the real-world use of cryptocurrencies is also surging, cybercriminals are on the lose to exploit literally anything they can make money out of. Reportedly, mining malware has been prevalent, which does not come as much of a shock given that malware targeting bitcoin ATM’s were bound to appear in the underground markets. But there is no evidence of such a working malware for hacking bitcoin ATM available for sale online. It all seems to be a big scam.

As reported by Trend Micro, Bitcoin ATM’s do not include any set of typical verification or security standards, and instead ask for mobile numbers and ID cards to prove identities, after which the user has to input a wallet address. These wallets that  store digital currencies are not standardized or registered either and are usually convenient to download from app stores. The seller also offers regular ATM malware that has been upgraded for EMV standards, in addition to that.  Further digging on the matter revealed that the malware exploits a menu vulnerability in order to detach an ATM from the network, disabling all security. But it isn’t confirmed from any source that this is happening in the real world.

All these claims seem to be theoretical and the entire offer seems to be a scam.

Although Trend Micro suggests:

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.

As the number of bitcoin ATMs is growing, although we must prepare ourselves mentally to come across more forms of malware targeting cryptocurrency ATMs in the future, but this is something that is not easy to occur.

It is still a question that what may have seemingly been a human advancement i.e a bitcoin ATM, may potentially incarnate into a cyber crime instrument? It is still for the future to decide, whether it’ll fade into thin air or bitcoin ATMs will be a success.

As of now, this news seems to be fake.

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Malaika Iqbal

Young aspiring individual, writing what matters to the millennials. Contributes to BlockPublisher with industry news & emerging startups in the blockchain space. Email: editor.startups@blockpublisher.com

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