Ransomware comes in a variety of shapes and forms. Most of the time, it locks your computer, encrypts files and asks for a Bitcoin payment in exchange for a decryption key. There is, however, a much more dangerous kind of malware. Its purpose is to steal your data. Bitshifter is a brand new ransomware of such kind that steals Bitcoin wallet information.
Why hackers do it this way
This strategy may seem weird at first sight. Why would the bad guys steal e-wallets and private keys before they’ve received a payment? Aren’t they simply hurting themselves?
The truth is, it isn’t that simple. Hackers understand that most victims aren’t going to pay the ransom. People have learned their lesson and they know that paying the perpetrators doesn’t guarantee a successful decryption. Your chances seem to be 50/50 here.
Regretfully, not many users bother to do a backup nowadays. People would rather lose their files than to pay a ransom, which is a blessing and a curse. Enterprises and consumers need to understand the importance of having backups. However, it doesn’t mean that a simple backup will solve all issues. Advanced viruses know how to delete the copies of your files from the hard drive.
A serious threat
As of today, we don’t have much information about Bitshifter. The virus has been discovered earlier this week. It is unknown which type of encryption is being used by the malware and how it’s being distributed. We also have no idea how big of a ransom is being demanded by the malware.
According to experts, Bitshifter steals digital e-wallets and can become a serious threat to all cryptocurrency users. It seems to be primarily targeting Bitcoin wallets, although no altcoin is safe either. Aside from wallet info, Bitshifter is also capable of stealing your banking information, logins and who knows what else.
It is very unusual that the world gets to deal with ransomware with such strong Bitcoin theft potential. It can become a pain in the ass for Bitcoin users for quite a while. We will keep an eye out for any additional information on this virus and keep you updated. And, once again, don’t forget about backups.