Thousands of machines worldwide have been found infected by a new botnet called “Pony” that is designed to steal virtual currencies.
Trustwave, an Internet security firm, announced yesterday that it found evidence of a new botnet by the name of Pony that is designed to steal virtual currencies. The firm mentioned that the botnet compromised over 85 digital wallets that stored Bitcoin and other virtual currencies like Litecoin and Dogecoin. The crime ring behind the botnet seems to have made off with at least $220,000 worth of digital currencies until now. The botnet was claimed to have infected a total of 700,000 machines globally, and stole 600,000 website login credentials, 100,000 email account credentials and other secure account information.
Digital currencies like Bitcoins are stored in virtual wallets that contain a combination of private and public keys. A hacker that gets access to both keys can steal the amount in a user’s virtual wallet. Trustwave researchers said that, “Stealing bitcoins and exchanging them for another currency, even a regulated one such as US dollars, is much easier than stealing money from a bank.”
This is the second time this month a cyber-attack has been targeted at Bitcoin. An unrelated attack caused many Bitcoin exchanges to halt withdrawals, which led to a decline in the value of Bitcoin by 33 percent. Trustwave did mention that it has disrupted servers that were controlling the affected machines, but that the crime ring is still functional. The security firm launched a service that allows you to check whether your digital wallet is affected, which can be accessed from here.