The rapid rise in Bitcoin value has attracted media attention. A recent article on The New Yorker’s Elements blog described The BitCoin Boom as a byproduct of shaky banks and economies in The EU, North America and Asia – but also of the increasing use of the coins as a legitimate online currency.
But Security Ledger reports that as the value of Bitcoins rise, Bitcoin holders and the Bitcoin infrastructure is increasingly being targeted by underground criminals. Recent attacks include phishing e-mail messages sent to customers of Bitcoin exchanges in efforts to gain access to their accounts and a crippling DDoS attack against another exchange. In March, attackers stole $12,000 of the coins from Bitinstant, a Bitcoin transaction processor, after phishing account holders. There’s even specialized malware, dubbed Infostealer.Coinbit designed to steal information needed to access Bitcoin wallets, according to the anti phishing firm NetCraft.