Bitcoin may help hackers monetize their business: McAfee CEO

The anonymous nature of cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin may be helping online hackers to monetize their approach, making it imperative for companies to evolve their cybersecurity policies, said McAfee CEO Chris Young.

“It’s an evolving, emerging technology, and it’s an emerging approach to currency,” Young said to FOX Business Network’s Maria Bartiromo of Mornings with Maria. “It’s not the currency’s fault, necessarily that it’s being used for these purposes.”

Instead of stealing information and selling it on the black market, hackers are now taking the information back to the companies and threatening to expose or release it unless they pay a ransom fee. That type of attack is playing out right now with HBO and Game of Thrones, he said.

In order to protect themselves, Young suggested that all companies need to make cybersecurity an employee-wide issue, and added that some companies have gone as far as to send out fake phishing emails to see whether any employee falls for the trick.

“A lot of companies are doing that these days,” he said. “It’s a teachable moment.”

Young also addressed what type of response technology companies should have to terrorist attacks, including the one in Barcelona on Thursday that left at least 14 people dead and 130 injured.

“I think the industry should be sharing information, that’s one of the most important things we can do, whether we’re security companies or larger content companies like Google,” he said. “Sharing information, working together so that we can more quickly respond to these attacks is really important.”