Skip to main content
  1. News
  2. Top News

Bitcoin heist: Cyber thieves take hundreds of thousands of virtual currencies

See also

A Bitcoin heist just recently happened and a band of cyber thieves used a whole host of infected computers to make off with over $220,000 worth of Bitcoins and a number of other virtual currencies. Yahoo News reported on Feb. 24, 2014, that security firm Trustware said the Bitcoin heist was accomplished by the computers using a malware program code-named "Pony."

At least 700,000 people and computers were affected by Pony, and that gave control of the accounts over to the thieves in the Bitcoin heist.

SEE: Bitcoin Ponzi-scheme alleged as Texas man charged

The botnet of computers stole 100,000 email account credentials from users and the website login credentials of 600,000. Other account information such as names, addresses, phone numbers, and more was also compromised.

The scheme "collected approximately $220,000 worth, at time of writing, of virtual currencies such as Bitcoin, LiteCoin, FeatherCoin and 27 others," said a blog post from researchers Daniel Chechik and Anat Davidi.

"According to our data, the cyber gang that was operating this Pony botnet was active between September 2013 and mid-January 2014."

Bitcoin, and other virtual currency, value has continued to rise as more people begin using them. That is expected to go up now that a number of worldwide ATM machines can provide them.

Trustwave has said that Bitcoins make theft a bit easier though, and it isn't like attempting to take solid cash that is kept in banks or on someone's person.

"Bitcoins are stored in virtual wallets, which are essentially pairs of private and public keys," the Trustwave researchers said, adding that whoever has those keys can take the currency.

"Stealing Bitcoins and exchanging them for another currency, even a regulated one such as US dollars, is much easier than stealing money from a bank."

Overall, 85 virtual wallets were overtaken in the Bitcoin heist that Pony ruled. It also wasn't the first time that the Pony malware was used as it was put into play last year to steal login information for social media and email sites.

For e-mail updates whenever a new article is posted, please subscribe at the bottom of the page and follow me on Twitter, GoogleBuzz, or join my group on Facebook and Celebrity Buzz.



  •  Day 17
    Israel continues their ravaging bombardment on Gaza as the conflict wages on
  • MH17 victims arrive home
    40 bodies of the MH17 plane crash return to a somber homecoming in Holland
    Top News
  • Military advisers to Ukraine
    President Obama announces the deployment of military advisers to Ukraine
  • Bubonic plague in China
    A bubonic plague outbreak in Yumen prompts China to quarantine the city
    World News
  • Air Algierie disappearance
    A flight headed from Burkina Faso to Algeria disappears from radar over Mali
  • Windows Phone training portal
    Microsoft launches Windows Phone training portal in attempt to woo consumers