Cryptocurrency, 1,1 billion dollars stolen from 2018 start

Cryptocurrency, 1,1 billion dollars stolen from 2018 start. Here are the latest data provided by the cybersecurity company Carbon Black.

Cryptocurrencies, $ 1,1 billion stolen since early 2018 - 629795 cryptocurrency 120417 1024x576

According to a recent report by the cybersecurity company Carbon Black, around 1,1 billion dollars of cryptocurrencies would have been stolen in the first half of 2018 and, unfortunately for owners, fraud would be getting simpler.

In fact, criminals have mainly used what is known as the dark web to facilitate large-scale cryptocurrency theft: “it's surprising how easy it is - without any technological skills - to commit cybercrimes like ransomware”- Carbon Black Security strategist Rick McElroy told CNBC. "It is not always large criminal groups that operate, but also individual scammers" - he added.

McElroy then recalled how since the price of Bitcoin skyrocketed, peaking at over 1.300% last year, new buyers suddenly flooded the market. And, unlike banks, they have had to deal with an asset that is generally unprotected and not insured by a third party.

"The tools are there, and investors need to know how"- McElroy said again -" A lot of people are not aware of this new digital gold, people use cloud wallets and do not insure their money ". The expert then recalled how exchanges became the most popular target for cybercriminals, representing the destination for 27% of the 2018 attacks.

Japanese Mt.Gox, the largest Bitcoin exchange, was the first to suffer a high-profile hacker attack in the history of cryptocurrencies, so much so that it then had to file for bankruptcy in 2014 and to have admitted to losing 750.000 bitcoins of its users and 100.000 bitcoins of those owned by the same exchange. This January, hackers then stole $ 530 million from a lesser known cryptocurrency, called NEM, from the Japanese exchange Coincheck. In December, another South Korean cryptocurrency exchange called Youbit, lost 17% of its digital assets, and shortly thereafter its parent company Yapian had to file for bankruptcy.

After exchanges, companies are the second most vulnerable group of recipients to hacker attacks, making up 21% of this very little enviable pie. In many cases, criminals hack into the internal system of these companies and demand cryptocurrency as a ransom. Carbon Black said it was unable to provide the names of the companies concerned because some of the attacks were not made public.

Finally, a small note that perhaps will surprise some of our readers. Although hackers often request cryptocurrency payment as a form of ransom, it appears that the Bitcoin is not the best choice, representing only about 10% of the cryptocurrency target, against 11% of Ethereum. Criminals seem to prefer Monero, less known but used in 44% of all attacks because of its greater privacy and greater tracking difficulty compared to Bitcoin. Monero it also has relatively low transaction fees compared to competitors.