Carbon Black states that Cryptocurrency thefts are the easiest.
It feels like just a month ago it was 2017, but the reality is that we are in the last month of the first half of 2018, and as for cryptocurrency investors this half has by no means been a good one for them as nearly a staggering $1.1 billion worth of cryptocurrency has reportedly been stolen, and to make matters even more worst, a cybersecurity company Carbon Black has now claimed that it’s pretty easy to do so these days.
For facilitating large-scale cryptocurrency theft, Criminals make use of the phenomenon known as the dark web. In a study released on Thursday, June 7th, the company revealed that currently, hackers have an option of choosing from nearly 12,000 marketplaces and 34,000 offerings that are related to crypto-thefts.
In an interview with CNBC, the Security strategist of Carbon Black Rick McElroy said that, “It’s quite astonishing to see how very easy it is to perform cybercrimes without having any sort of tech skills or anything, often it is the large nefarious groups that do so but in this case anyone could do it”
As per the study, the required software which according to McElroy, occasionally comes with the feature of customer service, costs an average of $224 and sometimes is priced as low as $1.04. That marketplace has gone on to become a $6.7 million economy.
In order to access the Dark Web, a special software is required. Its main characteristic is that it lets its users maintain anonymity and also can keep their IP address untraceable.
McElroy also added that “An individual who wishes to use the Dark web just needs to log in, once that is done one can simply call customer support and they will provide you with tips on how to make a purchase.”
No doubt, thefts do incur through large crime groups, organized cartels or extorting exchanges and companies. But most of the times it is actually a highly trained but unemployed engineer who seeks to make an extra buck that performs such crimes.
“There are nations that teach coding, but cannot provide employment,” says McElroy, while adding, ” You never know, it may be just a couple of individuals from Romania who need to pay rent so they do so.”
As the price of bitcoin showed a massive rise of more than 1,300 percent last year, the market was flooded by new buyers. Cryptocurrency has completely contrasting characteristics in comparison to banks as it is typically not protected or insured by a third party, which first-time investors might not be aware of.
As per McElroy, “Normally we are dependent on banks, the tools are openly available but investors have to know about it.” He further added, “A majority of the masses are unaware of this latest gold rush, people tend to use cloud wallets while being unaware that it does not secure their money.”
The most popular targets for cybercriminals was Exchanges, which made up for a total of 27 percent of attacks in the current year.
The very first high profile hack in the history of cryptocurrency was done on Tokyo-based Mt.Gox, the largest bitcoin exchange at the time. Following the hack, the exchange went on to file for bankruptcy in 2014 and said that it lost 750,000 of its users’ bitcoins and 100,000 of the exchange’s own. Back in the first month of this year hackers stole $530 million worth of a lesser-known cryptocurrency known as NEM from Japanese exchange Coincheck. Also, in December 2017, Youbit, a South Korean crypto exchange lost 17 percent of its entire digital assets following which its parent Yapian went on to file for bankruptcy.
Followed by Exchanges was business as the most vulnerable group. Nearly 27 percent of businesses have reportedly been hacked. In most of the cases, criminals hack the internal system of these companies and make a demand for ransom in cryptocurrency. The names of the companies could not be revealed by Carbon Black as it some of the incidents were not public. A company in the U.S of A doesn’t have to report a ransomware incident if it does not involve a loss of personal data.
For payments, Hackers often demand to be paid in cryptos, still, bitcoin does not look like the number 1 choice as it accounted for only about 10 percent of the targeted cryptocurrencies, while Ethereum made up 11 percent.
After conducting studies, it was learned that Criminals had a preference for monero. As the relatively unknown cryptocurrency was used in 44 percent of all attacks given its privacy and its difficult to trace in comparison to bitcoin. It’s transaction fees was also relatively low, as per Carbon Black.
Amongst countries, The United States of America was the most vulnerable country, as it fell victim to as many as 24 crypto-related attacks. China occupied the 2nd spot of this infamous list with 10, and the U.K. came 3rd with eight.