Infected Electrum Bitcoin Wallets Count Surpasses 150,000 Machines, Nearly $5 Million Stolen


According to an all-new research piece released by anti-malware firm Malwarebytes recently, the number of compromised Electrum bitcoin (BTC) has now scaled up to a massive total of 152,000 units. As per the above-stated study, these issues started cropping up when Electrum faced a massive wave of simultaneous Denial-of-Service (DoS) attacks on its servers from a number of miscreants located throughout the globe.

A Closer Look At The Matter

A representative for Malwarebytes recently stated in an interview that the number of

“infected machines in the botnet had risen to 152,000, with the volume of stolen funds also having increased to a considerable sum of $4.6 million.”

Additionally, the company’s core dev team was also able to single out one of the primary loaders responsible for the attack — “Trojan.BeamWinHTTP”.

Some Key Points Worth Noting

  • At press time, the largest bot pool in the world exists in the Asia Pacific region followed by Brazil and Peru. Not only that, but it is also being reported widely that the botnet framework currently infecting Electrum’s native infrastructure is growing at an unprecedented rate.
  • Earlier this month, a respected media outlet claimed that the ongoing DoS attack on Electrum’s servers was being carried out by a swarm of 140,000 bots — who were all looking to steal peoples BTC by “referring them to fake versions of the wallet”.

How Were the Attacks Carried Out?

It is being widely reported that the attackers started out by “deploying their own Electrum servers” by hosting older/compromised versions of the Electrum wallet. Thus, once users synced their wallets to the older servers, they were asked to update their native client with a hacked version — thus allowing the hackers to immediately steal all of the funds that people had kept in their older wallets.

In this regard, it should also be pointed out that a similar attack strategy was used by miscreants last December to steal almost 250 BTC from unsuspecting Electrum wallet owners.

Final Take

In closing out this piece, it should be pointed out that earlier this month, hardware crypto wallet manufacturer Ledger too claimed that its security team had detected malware code that was targeting the firm’s desktop application. The malware was designed to replace the Ledger Live desktop app with a malicious one — thus allowing it to only affect Windows-based PCs and laptops. In addition to all this, a spokesperson for Ledger also noted that the malware was designed to ”lure users to enter their 24-words recovery phrase” instead of performing an all-out hack attack.

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