Cryptocurrency became rampant at the same time pandemic arose. During the COVID-19 pandemic, bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies surged by 300% in 2020 amid speculations in the financial market that investors were piling on the digital currency––due to low-interest rates in the market (Bloomberg, 2021)
The critical characteristic of cryptocurrencies is that they are typically not created or controlled by a single central entity, which theoretically means they are resistant to government intervention or manipulation.
However, as per the findings of a report released by Malwarebytes, a well-known anti-malware software company, cybercriminals have unleashed two new types of cyber threats. These include MortalKombat ransomware, which was recently discovered, and a GO variant of the Laplas Clipper malware. Both of these threats are being utilized by attackers to target victims and steal their cryptocurrency.
The MortalKombat ransomware is designed to infiltrate a victim’s system and encrypt all their files, demanding a ransom payment in exchange for the decryption key. On the other hand, the GO variant of Laplas Clipper malware is specifically programmed to steal cryptocurrency from the infected device by replacing legitimate wallet addresses with the attacker’s address, thereby redirecting funds to their account.
According to the same research, the cyber attack campaign begins with a phishing email that is used as the initial point of contact between the attacker and the victim. Once the victim falls for the phishing scheme and opens the email or its attachments, the attacker proceeds with a multi-stage attack strategy.
It is essential for individuals and organizations to stay vigilant and take proactive measures to protect themselves against these types of scams and attacks. This includes implementing strong cybersecurity measures, being cautious of unsolicited emails, and using reputable antivirus software to keep personal information and digital assets safe from cyber threats.