Malware attacks are of major concern to any device owner, but they can prove to be especially threatening to Bitcoin users. Kaspersky has made notice of how a team of Brazilian coders are working on creating malware droppers that are cross-operating system compatible and use JAR files to infect devices.
Every Operating System Is Vulnerable To Malware Droppers
Contrary to popular belief, there is no operating system on any type of device that is — in theory at least — completely secure. For example, Macintosh owners thought their operating system was safe from Bitcoin ransomware, yet the opposite was proven less than a week ago. Linux users have come face-to-face with malware threats as well, and Windows users will hardly look up when a new type of virus is discovered, as they are so common on the platform.
Even mobile devices are not safe from harm, as the Android operating system has proven to be quite vulnerable time and time again. This is only normal, as there are so many devices supporting all of these operating systems, and it is difficult to protect everything on the software level alone. Users have to be more cautious when dealing with email attachments and websites they have never visited before.
The recent report by Kaspersky goes to show how easy it has become to distribute malware on a large scale. In fact, the usage of JAR files is of particular concern, as this file type is supported on Mac, Linux, Windows, and Android.
Whereas malware operators are obligated to create separate versions of their “toolkit” for each operating system in existence, JAR files bypass that need altogether. Java is a very popular platform — some websites and programs are reliant on this service — and security experts indicate somewhere between 70 and 80% of all computers around the world would be vulnerable to this type of malware.
These malware droppers are not the effort of one particular group of internet criminals. Instead, it appears as if various collectives have joined forces to target all major operating systems at the same time. As is usually the case with these types of infections, the JAR files are being spread via spam email campaigns, two of which have been detected so far. The malware itself is labelled as “Trojan-Banker,” and “Trojan-download.”
A Sign of Things To Come?
Although the looming threat of cross-platform malware droppers is scary enough on its own, Kaspersky feels this is only the first wave of what might be coming to computer users around the world. The main objective of using a malware dropper is to infect a computer and provide internet criminals with remote control over the machine, which can then be used to download additional malware, ransomware, and other nasty pieces of software later on.
According to Kaspersky, these Brazilian internet criminals want to install banking trojans on computers to steal important financial information. But there is no reason to think the code couldn’t be modified to target Bitcoin users as well. After all, most digital currency enthusiasts have one or more coin wallets installed on their computer, which could contain a lot of funds.
As these banking trojans do not exist yet, it is impossible to gauge what the intentions of these internet criminals are. However, as the malware droppers have only just started spreading around the world, things could get very hairy over the next few months. Bitcoin and banking users should be extra vigilant when opening emails containing archived or JAR files, as chances are they will contain one of these malware droppers.
What are your thoughts on these malware droppers? Can they pose a real threat to consumers and Bitcoin enthusiasts? Let us know in the comments below!
Images courtesy of Kaspersky, Shutterstock