There could be malware lurking in your Bitcoin

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A group of researchers consisting of Interpol‘s cyber threat team and members of Russia’s Kaspersky Lab said that they have identified a threat in the blockchain of many virtual currencies, which can be embedded with illegal data or malware.

Kaspersky Lab explained that there is an open space in the blockchain, and depending on the type of currency and the protocols used, data can be stored inside it. This creates another avenue for unscrupulous internet users to transfer illegal documents or attack unaware PC users.

“The design of the blockchain means there is the possibility of malware being injected and permanently hosted with no methods currently available to wipe this data. This could affect ‘cyber hygiene’ as well as the sharing of child sexual abuse images where the blockchain could become a safe haven for hosting such data,” Kaspersky said in a media statement.

It added that it could pose a huge threat in terms of the deployment of modular malware, shape the way zero-day attacks are launched as well as the creation of an underground network of illegal activity with the spawning of several marketplaces.

“The core principle of our research is to forewarn about potential future threats coming from decentralised systems based on blockchains. While we generally support the idea of blockchain-based innovations we think that’s it is our duty, as a part of security community, to help the developers make such technologies sustainable and useful for the purpose they were intended for,” said Vitaly Kamluk, principal security researcher at Kaspersky Lab.

[Image – Bitcoin.org]

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