Ransomware has begun spreading in Australia that references the TV show "Breaking Bad" in a ransom note demanding up to AU$1,000 (US$791) to decrypt files it infects, according to Symantec security researchers.
Another local police department recently paid bitcoins to attackers to deactivate the malware known as ransomware. This is an all too familiar scenario playing out within overmatched enterprises across the nation.
The rising popularity of the malware known as ransomware is targeting small- to mid-sized businesses and organizations who lack sophisticated enterprise security infrastructures. And some of these hackers are increasingly asking for ransoms in bitcoin, rather than cash, to make the ransom difficult to trace.
Amid a data breach that surrendered account passwords and two-factor authentication information, Canadian exchange Cavirtex announced its decision to close down, according to a press release from the company.
Ransomware, fueled by the anonymous nature of Bitcoin and other virtual currencies, is quickly becoming an efficient means for hackers to extort victims. The success of the malware will lead to more dangerous and pervasive types, according to a security analyst.
The developers of CTB-Locker, the ransomware that disables systems until a bitcoin demand is met, have changed their propagation methods to include emailed spam, according to cybersecurity firms.
Bitcoin startup GAW Miners and its affiliated businesses are under investigation by the Securities and Exchange Commission for alleged fraud, according to leaked documents from the agency.
Russian telecommunications regulator Roskomnador blocked access to five bitcoin sites Tuesday, again solidifying the country's stance as a prominent international opponent of virtual currency. The agency banned the sites in what it calls an effort to block support for a "shadow economy."
Popular bitcoin exchange Bitstamp shuttered Monday, the first signal that the U.K.-based company had been hacked for about $5.2 million worth of bitcoin. Providing few details, the executives of Bitstamp have taken to their website and social media to calm their users and to deny rumors of illiquidity.
When New York makes a move in financial regulation, the rest of the country is not far behind. So when Benjamin Lawsky, the state's department of financial services superintendent, announced revisions to his proposal on Bitcoin regulation Thursday, many across the country took notice.