How does malicious software Spyware become a common tool for crypto hackers?

Author: BTC_Chopsticks

What is spyware?

Spyware is a type of malicious software that runs in the background and can track and record activities on infected devices, collecting personal information about users. This information is then sent to attackers for nefarious purposes, such as selling data, identity fraud, intelligence attacks, etc.

In the cryptocurrency market, hackers often use #Spyware to infiltrate computers, phones, and other devices to obtain private keys, login information, etc., in order to steal user assets.

How does spyware enter devices?

Spyware can penetrate any device, from computers and laptops to phones and tablets.

Devices using the Windows operating system are typically more susceptible to attacks due to limited security features. However, attackers’ greed does not easily stop, and they are increasingly creating new methods and avenues to attack iOS devices.

Some common reasons why spyware can easily penetrate devices or systems include:

Bundled software: Spyware is installed within utilities and software, such as disk cleanup tools, download managers, new web browsers, etc.

Weird emails: Spyware can be spread through phishing emails that contain strange files and links. When users open the files or click on the links in the email, spyware enters their devices.

Spyware ads: Users visit unknown websites and click on ads that contain spyware, unintentionally infecting their devices.

Security vulnerabilities: Attackers often exploit code and hardware vulnerabilities to gain unauthorized access to devices and systems, thereby installing spyware on the devices.

USB and peripheral devices with spyware: When connecting these USB devices, users’ devices may also be infiltrated and attacked by #spyware.

Types of spyware

There are many methods for classifying spyware, depending on its purpose and mode of operation. This article will categorize cryptocurrency.spyware, intrusion monitoring systems, Trojan horses, and spyware, among others.

System monitors – System monitors

Spyware, also known as information stealers (Inforstealers), primarily collect information from other users, such as personal information, account login information, sensitive information, etc.

Here are some types of spyware and how they collect information on your device:

Keyloggers: Record the keystrokes users press on the keyboard.

Screenloggers: Capture and record images on the device screen for a period of time.

Clipboard monitors: Manipulate the information stored in the computer’s clipboard. Imagine when you send cryptocurrency and copy-paste the recipient’s wallet address, the address is quickly stored in the clipboard. At this time, the clipboard monitoring software can quickly change the wallet address information, causing funds to be sent to the attacker’s wallet address.

Memory Scraper: Scans computer memory to retrieve important information and send it to attackers.

Web Injection: Injects malicious code into websites that users visit, then collects their important information and data.

Trojans and spyware

Trojans and spyware (or Trojans) are counterfeit software with reliable interfaces and functions, but internally contain malicious components, such as movie, song, game download links, advertisements, etc. The name Trojan comes from the famous Greek fable – the Trojan Horse.

Trojan software files usually use the extensions .exe, .com, .scr, .bat, or .pif.

Example: Users download movies or songs to their computers from unfamiliar websites, but they don’t know that it is actually Trojan software. When they click on the downloaded file, they inadvertently open a Trojan program that is harmful to the computer. This may include: (The following content may be malicious behavior that Trojans may generate. Due to security reasons, I cannot provide detailed information. Please be aware of computer security risks when translating.)

Erasing computer hard drives.

Controlling the machine.

Disabling machine security features.

Obtaining sensitive information and sending it to attackers, such as bank account information, wallet information, passwords for cryptocurrency exchanges…

Becoming part of a zombie network and participating in distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks.

Spyware – Zombie Network

A. Spyware Zombie Network (Bot) is a network composed of many devices infected with spyware, which are remotely controlled through public remote servers. Attackers can create spyware (Trojans, keyloggers, screen recorders, etc.) to penetrate user devices in various forms (emails, advertisements, pop-up notifications, image files, videos, etc.) to create a zombie network.

Through the zombie network, attackers can:

Make phone calls.

Engage in large-scale property fraud based on information collected from the network.

Sell sensitive information on the black market.

How dangerous is Spyware in cryptocurrencies?

Spyware poses a threat to cryptocurrency users’ assets, as they can:

Obtain wallet private key information to control and use assets.

Monitor and track every transaction, violating user privacy.

Pave the way for other types of malware attacks on devices.

Obtain users’ personal information and engage in fraud and identity theft.

Unlike credit cards or debit cards, cryptocurrency transactions are based on blockchain technology. Once a transaction is completed, it is written into a block and cannot be reversed. It cannot be rolled back, and the assets in the account are almost impossible to steal.

Sky Mavis Sky Mavis is a game studio focused on technology. View more Ronin Ronin Ronin is an EVM blockchain created specifically for gaming. Ronin was launched by Sky Mavis, the creator of the groundbreaking Web3 game “Axie Infinity,” which has generated over $130 million in revenue. Ronin is the only blockchain proven to scale a single game to accommodate millions of daily active users and has processed over $4 billion in NFT transactions. Ronin is optimized for near-instant transactions and negligible fees, enabling seamless millions of in-game transactions, making it the preferred choice for Web3 games. View more Hacker incidents are a typical example of the dangers of spyware.

The attacker first collected information about Sky Mavis employees and then designed a scam targeting a senior engineer at the company. He pretended to be a recruiter from another company (which actually does not exist) and sent false job opportunities and attractive salaries to the employees.

After the employee went through a simulated interview at the company, he started sending job opportunities in the form of PDF files (containing spyware). Once the file was downloaded, the spyware infiltrated Sky Mavis’ network and started attacking.

This incident eventually became one of the largest cryptocurrency theft cases in history. Sky Mavis lost 173,600 ETH and 25.5 million USDC, with a total loss exceeding 600 million US dollars at the time.

Unlike credit or debit cards, cryptocurrency transactions operate on blockchain technology. Here are 10 signs to detect spyware on devices:

Spyware. It runs in the background and may cause the following symptoms on the user’s device:

The device’s performance is much slower than before, lagging and stuttering during use.

The battery drains very quickly, and the device temperature rises rapidly.

Strange sounds or crackling noises during phone calls.

The CD-ROM drive of the computer opens and closes automatically.

Pop-up ads appear on the screen when accessing the browser.

The browser history contains a lot of strange activities that the user did not perform.

The desktop wallpaper keeps changing and cannot be automatically restored.

The computer automatically changes fonts and other settings.

The left and right mouse buttons are confused, or the mouse does not appear on the computer screen.

Check for strange programs and applications that the user did not install or download.

How to prevent spyware in cryptocurrency?

As the cryptocurrency market continues to develop and gain widespread acceptance, hackers are becoming increasingly dominant due to the market’s lack of control and security, making spyware a greater threat to users’ assets.

So how do you avoid spyware when participating in the cryptocurrency market? Some methods include:

Turn on the firewall on your computer to prevent unauthorized access and issue warnings when dangerous programs, applications, software, etc., attempt to infiltrate your device.

Use antivirus and anti-malware software such as Bitdefender, LianGuainda Free Antivirus, Malwarebytes, Avast, McAfee, etc., to detect and remove spyware and malware from your device.

Use two-factor authentication (2FA) and password management applications such as Dashlane, Sticky Password, LastPass, LianGuainda Password Boss, etc., to enhance security and prevent attackers from accessing your cryptocurrency accounts.

When not using your computer, please shut it down to avoid becoming a target of spyware attacks. Users often have a habit of keeping their devices in “sleep” mode and not closing all tabs after use, which inadvertently makes the device more vulnerable to being “discovered” by attackers.

Keep your operating system and software up to date with the latest security patches. Older versions may have vulnerabilities that hackers can exploit to attack spyware.

Before accessing cryptocurrency websites, check the URL to ensure it is genuine and not redirected to a fake website.

Be cautious when downloading software, files, or clicking on unfamiliar links. Only download from trusted sources, such as the official website of the software provider, and be careful with free downloads from third parties. Read carefully before opening emails or clicking on unfamiliar links.


The above measures will help users reduce the risk of spyware attacks when participating in the cryptocurrency market. However, maintaining a vigilant and cautious mindset in all actions is still the most important thing to protect personal information and assets.

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