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Blockchain Semantics Blog Cryptocurrency Robberies in 2018

Cryptocurrency Robberies in 2018

By Swati Keswani | June 11, 2018, 1:47 p.m. GMT

The news of cryptocurrencies being stolen caught the limelight in April when Coinsecure’s CSO was accused of the loss of around 438.318 Bitcoins. But the question is, is this the only cryptocurrency robbery witnessed so far in 2018?

According to a report by a cyber-security company, CarbonBlack, the past 6 months have witnessed over Cryptocurrency losses, worth close to $1.1 billion.

So, what is making hacking so easy for the hackers? The answer is the dark web. These hackers have about 34,000 offerings and 12,000 marketplaces to choose from and all these avenues are what makes it so easy to enter the systems illegally. All these crimes can come from corporate gangs or even a group of criminals with some technical knowledge, where they mainly target exchanges and companies. Malware offerings are easily available and as cheap as $1.04 to $1000 with an average price of $224.

Almost 27 percent of the attacks this year alone have targeted exchanges specifically. The Japanese cryptocurrency exchange Coincheck lost about 58 billion Yen or roughly $530 million of the lesser-known cryptocurrency NEM. After this scandal, the exchange-restricted the withdrawals or trading of all cryptocurrencies, including their currency Yen, but kept the trading of Bitcoins open. NEM was designed to help businesses manage data digitally, off the paper.

Another major loss reported was for MyBTGWallet. The investors lost a total of $3.3 million to criminals who trapped and stole their private keys. As per reports, Mybtgwallet was created by one of the members of the Bitcoin gold community named John Dass. He also promoted the project on his social media handles including Steem, Reddit, and successfully trapped many susceptible individuals. When the website’s code was analyzed, the report showed that the page stored private keys of customers when they were submitted. The owners also manipulated Github code to support their illegal activities.

Businesses are the second highest targeted sector, making up to 21% of the targeted victims. While targeting businesses, criminals hack the computer systems of the organization and then demand ransom in terms of cryptocurrencies, to free their systems. In some cases, hackers have also used these systems’ computing power to mine cryptocurrencies, in most common cases Monero. Criminals used Monero for about 44% of attacks, as it is lesser known and its emphasis on privacy makes it far more difficult to trace as compared to Bitcoin.

Carbon Black did not reveal the names of companies because the incidents were not reported publically. In the US, companies don’t necessarily have to report ransomware, as it does not imply a loss of personal data.

Hackers demand cryptocurrency payments, however, Bitcoin does not seem to be on top of that cryptocurrency ransom list. Bitcoin accounted for about 10% of the targeted cryptocurrency, whereas Ethereum won the battle by 1%, having accounted for 11% of the total.

The United States topped the list of crypto attacks victim countries and was pretty to about 24 crypto-related attacks. China stands second with 10 attacks and U.K third with 8 attacks.





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