BlackBerry reveals top crypto-focused malware amid rising cyber threats

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In the process of stopping over 1.5 million cyberattacks between March to May, the cybersecurity arm of the defunct smartphone goliath BlackBerry identified malware families that actively try to hijack computers to mine or steal cryptocurrencies.

The three industries most affected by cyberattacks are finance, healthcare and government, according to the BlackBerry report. A commodity malware named RedLine is one of the long-standing financial threats — tasked with harvesting information including cryptocurrency and banking information.

The three industries with the highest distribution of stopped cyberattacks and stopped unique/different samples during this period. Source: BlackBerry

Clop ransomware — a variant of the CryptoMix ransomware family — was a common threat that specifically targeted banking and financial institutions. This malware was responsible for the data breach of fintech banking platform Hatch Bank.

When it comes to Blackberry’s list of the most prevalent malware families, SmokeLoader, RaccoonStealer (also known as RecordBreaker) and Vidar top the charts. SmokeLoader is one of the oldest rogue financial tools from 2011, which has primarily been used by Russian-based threat actors to load crypto miners among other malware.

RaccoonStealer has been used to steal cryptocurrency wallet data and is being reportedly sold across the dark web. Vidar also is being widely used to harvest cryptocurrency wallets.

Linux was the biggest target out of all operating systems, and BlackBerry advised organizations to apply security patches regularly. Hackers target Linux to hijack and use computer resources for mining cryptocurrencies. A new strain of infostealer named Atomic macOS (AMOS) targets macOS users, primarily used to collect credentials from keychains, browsers, and crypto-wallets among others.

Related: SEC adopts cyberattack disclosure rules, listed crypto firms included

OpenAI, the creator of ChatGPT and Dall-e, recently announced a $1 million cybersecurity grant program to enhance and measure the impact of AI-driven cybersecurity technologies.

OpenAI cybersecurity grant program. Source: OpenAI

“Our aim is to foster the advancement of AI-driven cybersecurity capabilities for defenders through grants and additional assistance,” stated OpenAI, in its official announcement.

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