If you’ve been paying attention, you’ll have noticed that recently, media attention has hit fever-pitch around cryptocurrency.

But, the news isn’t all positive. While well-known cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin have reached outlandish prices, with this rise in cost and attention has also come a noticeable increase in crypto-related cyber threats.
Crypto-phishing, crypto-mining, fake cryptocurrency apps and cryptocurrency malware have all slyly made their way onto the scene, plaguing owners of the currency and their devices.
Wandera, in a real-time response to these recently developing threats, has enabled a brand new acceptable use content category for customers.

Cryptocurrency: the current landscape

Wandera has recently reported on multiple cryptocurrency attacks that have left owners either drained of their own currency via mobile phishing attacks, or unwillingly assisting others in mining cryptocurrency via the manipulation of their mobile device processors.
There have also been instances of fake apps discovered on the Google Play Store, mimicking cryptocurrency trading vehicles.
Once users enter their credentials into these well-designed app replicas, their usernames and passwords are sent directly to malicious servers. They are then used to access users’ online wallets and steal their currency.
One such fake app, mimicking the digital trading site “Poloniex”, is an example of a well-coordinated attack that resulted in significant rewards for hackers. Read more about the Poloniex attack.

Fake applications in the Play Store

What does it mean?

The current market trends relating to cryptocurrency, are making a few things abundantly clear:

1) The popularity of cryptocurrencies is growing substantially

Apps and websites that facilitate cryptocurrency exchange and purchase are proliferating, creating the perfect breeding ground for hackers.

2) Mobile has become the new medium for cryptocurrencies  

Wandera has detected an escalation in the number of cryptocurrency sites and apps accessed by employees across our global network of mobile devices. The presence of malicious mobile apps relating to cryptocurrency on official app stores reinforces this point, and tells us that employees are exposing themselves to mobile attacks from cryptocurrency-hungry hackers.

3) The value of cryptocurrencies is increasing

With the value of almost all cryptocurrencies on the up and up, hackers are keen to get their hands on the virtual currency.  

See the below chart showing the total market cap (in USD) of all global cryptocurrencies throughout 2017:
This means the effort cybercriminals willing to put into, for example, creating crypto-mining malware or fake cryptocurrency apps is exponentially heightened, making this world of currency all the more dangerous.

What can you do about it?

As a business in today’s world, you need to protect yourself against this growing mobile threat. Every day you wait, a news story is released on a new, more intelligent ‘crypto’ attack.
But how do you protect your mobile fleet? Most app-only mobile security solutions are only able to detect malware once it reaches the device. They cannot for example, recognize a malicious bitcoin phishing site that a user accesses through their browser and proactively block the user from sending off their PII.
Well rest assured, Wandera has the answer. Today it announced a new acceptable use category entitled ‘cryptocurrencies’.  This content category enables admins to set a policy to block the high risk category of cryptocurrencies across their mobile fleet.
This means employees won’t be able to access any cryptocurrency related sites or apps on their corporate devices, completely eliminating the risk of crypto-mining, malware, and phishing attacks.
This feature was turned around in only a few days’ time, demonstrating Wandera’s ability to continuously provide the most relevant, important features to our customers and responsively adapt the product to protect against new threats that arise for mobile.
For more information on this feature, please contact your account rep, or schedule a demo if you’re interested in seeing what Wandera can do for your mobile fleet.
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