If you get a spam message advertising an application called “Bitcoin Alarm,” the name may tell you all you need to know.
The desktop Windows application sends price alerts by SMS to a mobile phone. But closer examination of its code turned up several suspicious traits that indicate it may try to steal the virtual currency, wrote Kenny MacDermid, a research analyst with security company Arbor Networks.
Bitcoin’s skyrocketing value this year has drawn wide interest from investors as well as from cybercriminals. Bitcoins are secured by public key cryptography, and if the private key for a bitcoin is obtained, the virtual currency can be stolen in a flash.
MacDermid received three spam messages in one day promoting Bitcoin Alarm.