DECEMBER 27, 2013
Your regular source of security updates from TrendLabsSM
In This Issue

Security Spotlight
The Buzz About Bitcoin

Security for Home Users
Ahead of the Game

Security for Business
New Attack Tactics for the New Year

Security Spotlight

The Buzz About Bitcoin

You wouldn’t put all your money in one wallet or bank account, so why should you do so for your Bitcoins?”

Bitcoin has been in the news again. With prices peaking at US$1,200 per Bitcoin, news agencies are keeping a close watch over any development. What makes Bitcoins interesting is that nearly anyone can make them—with the right equipment, of course. But all this generated interest has a downside—more Bitcoin-related threats.

The (Malicious) Pursuit of Bitcoins

Cybercriminals are capitalizing on the rising value of Bitcoins by using unwitting victims’ computers to “mine” or generate the currency. Feedback from the Trend Micro™ Smart Protection Network™ shows that more than 12,000 computers have been infected with Bitcoin-mining malware from September to November 2013, more than half of which are located in Japan, the United States, and Australia.

Bitcoin mining can take its toll on a computer. Since the process is very resource-intensive, it can slow down a computer due to increased CPU load. Because of this, victims— computers can sometimes even become unresponsive.

Bitcoin owners are not spared from threats. In one incident, thieves stole US$100 million worth of Bitcoins from a Deep Web site.

Protecting Your Assets

Managing Bitcoins is similar to managing real-world money. You wouldn’t put all your money in one wallet or bank account, so why should you do so for your Bitcoins? It’s advisable to use several digital wallets to store your Bitcoins in. You can even assign a “spending” wallet and a “receiving” wallet so you can easily monitor all of your transactions. It’s also safer to store your Bitcoins offline, like in an external hard drive.

Installing a security solution is also crucial to protect your computer against Bitcoin-related threats. Security software detect Bitcoin-mining malware and prevent them from using your computing resource to mine for thieves.

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