Beware of virus riding on Bitcoin

With the exploding interest developing in India on the Bitcoin, the malware writers will be looking at every possibility of using the bitcoin craze to spread viruses and trojans.

Already, spam mails appear to be in circulation trying to entice the Netizens to open infected links to install trojans. A greater risk is through downloads of various programs from the internet some of which seem to be in no way connected with Bitcoin.

It is now known that there are many such downloads where a Bitcoin miner is embedded for mining Bitcoins for third parties botnet” specialzing on bitcoin mining using the victim’s resources.  In this case the Bitcoins generated in the victim’s computer would be credited to the wallets of a third party.

It is necessary for netizens to know that employing such embedded bitcoin miners is  considered a “Computer Contaminant” and such activity is a serious offence in India. Even when approval for the installation of the Bitcoin miner is surreptitiously obtained through the terms and conditions or privacy documents, the Courts are unlikely to approve such clauses in a standard form contract.  The offence imposes both civil and criminal liabilities.

Indian law also provides for collection of compensation for the damages suffered with the installation of a computer contaminant and for determining compensation payable, the wrongful gain made by the person who caused the installation of computer contaminant would be a factor to be considered. This means that the compensation that can be claimed Bitcoins generated by the malicious code includes the value of the Bitcoins generated.

It would be interesting if any such case arises.


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About Vijayashankar Na

Naavi is a veteran Cyber Law specialist in India and is presently working from Bangalore as an Information Assurance Consultant. Pioneered concepts such as ITA 2008 compliance, Naavi is also the founder of Cyber Law College, a virtual Cyber Law Education institution. He now has been focusing on the projects such as Secure Digital India and Cyber Insurance
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