What is a Crypto Malware and How Does It Work?

What is a Crypto Malware?

Malware is a type of computer virus that can affect the performance of an operating system in different ways. Cryptocurrency investors face different types of cybersecurity threats such as malware attacks.

As per statistics, 300 million crypto malware attacks were recorded during the first half of 2023 citing a 400% increase in comparison to first quarter of 2022.

How does Crypto Malware Work?

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In most cases, malware attacks on cryptocurrencies hijack the operating system power for illegal mining. This type of malware attack is called cryptojacking. The first cryptojacking virus was released by Coinhive in 2017 which added mining code on various websites to affect the unsuspecting visitors.

These types of attacks saw a rise in subsequent years rising concerns regarding malware attacks among cryptocurrency investors.

Cybersecurity analysts believe that hackers are opting for malware instead of ransomware on account of its passive nature. Furthermore, cryptojacking attacks are low-risk for instigators in comparison to ransomware that anti-crime agencies can detect and intercept more effectively.

Furthermore, malicious groups also leverage regulatory ambiguity of mining that exposes them to limited legal scrutiny.

At the same time, malware attacks are more cost-effective that requires very little investment. At the same time, the theft can be converted into easy cash using minimal complications.

These types of attacks manifest in low-level exploits such as browser applications that are difficult to detect. Additionally, an increase in the usage of Internet-of-Things or IoT products is another major contributing factor for rise in malware attacks on crypto projects.

Malware Vs Ransomware Attacks

Malware and ransomware are two types of computer viruses. The former is used to hijack operational capacity of a system while the latter is used to lock an operating system. Ransomware attackers tend to ask the victims for distortion money to unlock and release their locked files. Here are some important differences between the two types of viruses:

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Malware is used to mine cryptocurrencies without user authorization. On the other side, ransomware is used to lock sensitive files using encryption tech and demand ransom money.


Malware attacks symptoms include slow processing speed, overheating, browser redirects, slow bandwidth, and battery issues. Ransomware attacks results in locked access to files and directions for ransom payments.


Malware attacks spread through phishing emails, clicking on spiked links, and visiting sites that contain crypto mining code. Ransomware virus can infiltrate an operating system via phishing emails, downloading spiked files or malicious attachments.

Sources of Malware Viruses

Cryptocurrency investors can prevent malware attacks by refraining from visiting affected sources as follows:

Adverts and Websites

If hackers are able to install a malware virus on the operating system they can successfully affect its performance. Therefore, users should beware of any sources that can expose them to malware attacks. Online adverts and spiked websites can be places that contain malicious code.

Therefore, cryptocurrency investors should use good virus detection programs and detection apps that block suspicious ads and sites before loading.

Software and App Vulnerabilities

Hackers can also install malware viruses in software and various types of applications. Therefore, cryptocurrency investors should only download applications and software from authenticated sources that list applications after a thorough vetting and verification process.

Cloud-based Infrastructure

Cryptocurrency investors may also use cloud-storage services for storing files or digital currency reserves. However, unverified and unchecked cloud-storage options can expose the investors to illegal mining scripts that can steal their operating power.

Affected Browser Extensions

Hackers can also target cryptocurrency investors by listing affected browser extensions. Therefore, investors should always download verified and checked extension from local browser applications. At the same time, it is best to use browsers that have a robust security and scrutiny process to prevent malware-embedded scripts from infiltrating user accounts.


Cryptocurrency investors can feel insecure and worried on account of the malware issue. However, investors can use preventive measures such as firewall, anti-virus, and anti-crypto jacking programs.

Author: Isacco Genovesi

Isacco writes news articles, reviews and guides about cryptocurrencies including technical analysis, blockchain events, coin prices marketcap and detailed reviews on crypto exchanges and trading platforms.

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