Episode 4 – Malware Stealing Bitcoin

PRIORITY: STOP EVERYTHING AND LISTEN

EFFECTED USERS:  anyone who uses bitcoin.

  1. What is happening?
    1. A shockingly simple piece of malware is stealing bitcoin.
    2. Listen to this carefully, it is easy to defeat, BUT
    3. YOU MUST ASSUME YOU HAVE THIS MALWARE ON YOUR COMPUTER
  2. Background
    1. Bitcoin addresses are unique, BUT
    2. One thing in common: address are usually a string of 26-35 alphanumeric characters, beginning with the number 1 or 3
    3. when we transact bitcoin, the recipient sends us their 26-35 character address
    4. No one wants to manually write it, so we call copy and paste it.
  3. The malware:
    1. Simply scans you clipboard every time you copy something.
    2. If not bitcoin #, malware does nothing (YOU DON”T KNOW ITS THERE)
    3. BUT, if malware sees a string 26-35 alphanumeric characters, beginning with the number 1 or 3, it PASTES a DIFFERENT BITCOIN ADDRESS!!
      1. If you don’t notice, the hacker will receive your bitcoin
    4. Malware has been around for “years”
  4. Damage?
    1. One person definitely lost 13 Bitcoin(~$35K)
      1. https://www.reddit.com/r/Bitcoin/comments/6fokzr/panic_just_got_13_btc_scammed_but_transaction/?st=j3n0234j&sh=d5661a94
    2. Unconfirmed reports that about 800 BTC (or about $2.1M)
  5. THE FIX?
    1. Manually check every code
    2. Avoid copy/paste
    3. slow down during a transaction

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