The two year old virtual currency, Bitcoin, gained a huge popularity in recent months after Gwaker published a report of how Bitcoins has turned into a standard currency in underground drug marketplace Silkroad. The present value of each Bitcoin (at the time of writing this article) is around $17.35 (as per MtGox Bitcoin Exchange). But not so long ago, back in November last year, one Bitcoin (BTC) was worth little over 80 cents.
People have been investing money into buying high-end graphic cards to mathematically generate these Bitcoin, and given the value of Bitcoins, even hackers have taken some interest into stealing Bitcoins by infecting computers with Trojans. The news first broke out when a man lost 25000 Bitcoins worth approximately $433750.
Researchers at Symantec have discovered Infostealer.Coinbit malware which infects Windows computers and scans for your Bitcoin wallet, and sends it back to a server in Poland. Symantec recommends encrypting your wallet.dat with a strong password, so that even if the hacker tries to bruteforce it, he shouldn’t succeed. But the real problem is, even if you encrypt your wallet.dat or your entire hard drive for that matter, Bitcoin clients cannot read or write to an encrypted file. So how do you really protect your Bitcoins?
Now that such a malware is exposed, other hackers would also be keen on embedding Bitcoin stealing abilities to their malwares. If you are serious about this whole mining business, I think switching to Linux is the best option you have.
Image Credits: Solo on Flickr