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<a href="/news/bitcoin-scam-requires-system-protection" title="Bitcoin Scam Requires System Protection">Bitcoin Scam Requires System Protection</a>
Posted on: 21 Nov 2013 

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Bitcoin Scam Requires System Protection

Bitcoin, the virtual currency that has risen to prominence thanks to its massive rise in value, has become the target of cyber-criminals; this ransom scam is potentially targeting tens of millions of email users in the UK.

The cybercrime unit of the National Crime Agency (NCA) has issued an alert on what it calls a ‘mass spamming event’ whereby emails purporting to be sent by banks and other recognised financial institutions are able to trick recipients and steal financial details.

According to a report in the Financial Times, each email comes with seemingly legitimate attachments such as voicemail, fax, invoice details, or information related to a fraudulent transaction, which are in fact malicious files that can encrypt the computer of the user.

Once an attachment is opened it will install ransomware software known as Cryptlocker, which encrypts files on the local computer. Users will then see a countdown displayed on the screen that demands around £536 worth of Bitcoins to provide a decryption key.

The NCA said that the scam seems to be targeting small and medium-sized businesses, but has the potential to reach millions more in a short space of time.

Lee Miles, deputy head of the National Cyber Crime Unit (NCCU), told FT: “The NCA are actively pursuing organised crime groups committing this type of crime.

“We are working in cooperation with industry and international partners to identify and bring to justice those responsible and reduce the risk to the public.”

Protect your system

Experts from the NCCU are actively working on uncovering who is sending the files and have warned internet users not to open any attachments that they do not believe to be completely safe. They have also urged all computer users to ensure anti-virus protection is in place and to backup all files.

If you operate a small business, it is essential that you have security in place across the network. This is something that can be achieved quickly with cloud web security. Unlike traditional anti-virus protection, which requires multiple keys for installation on individual computers, cloud web security works on protecting the network, being configured to protect all of the computers in the office at the same time. This advanced software also includes a comprehensive anti-phishing element that will help flag up any potentially dangerous content and warn users before attachments are opened.

With Bitcoin set to become increasingly commonplace in the business environment, it is essential that you have cloud web security in place to protect your systems from the would-be cybercriminals.

To find out more about how cloud web security can help protect your business from this, and other phishing scams, contact ITWiser today by following this link.

The Register