Cyber attacks keep coming in all shapes and sizes and continue to rise in numbers. With the global growth of the crypto scene, there’s more interest from malicious parties as well. With Crypto popularity and innovations continuing to increase, the question for better cyber and cryptographic security becomes more and more relevant. This year losses to cyber attacks are not only rising, but they are doing it with a large margin. According to a report from the blockchain security firm CipherTrace, losses are almost nearing $1 billion.
The document doesn’t present information that investors and crypto enthusiasts will find appealing. Losses have more than tripled since the same time last year. October 2017 saw the total losses equal approximately $266 million. Keep in mind that with 2018 not being over yet, it’s completely possible that losses go well above the $1 billion mark. It’s also important to note that over 50% of this year’s losses came from a single cyber attack.
Cyber Attacks are increasing in a world that is more interconnected than ever before
Earlier this year, the Japanese exchange Coincheck was hacked. The attack saw roughly $530 million in cryptocurrency stolen from the exchange. There have been many other attacks, but nothing compared to the losses Coincheck suffered. BitGrail lost $195 million and Zaif from Japan lost roughly $60 million. Coinrail and Bithumb also saw losses with $40 and $30 million respectfully.
The bigger attacks have naturally dominated the news cycles. They attracted much attention, especially since it was unknown who the attacker or attackers were. With the rate that attacks grew, news outlets started to mention the “smaller” attacks which were in the range between $15 to $60 million. If all the smaller attacks were added together, the results are still staggering since the amount adds up to over $160 million.
According to the report, there is a very clear pattern with the smaller attacks. The attackers are clearly professionals are capitalizing extremely proficiently on exposed vulnerabilities. One of the most interesting parts of the report covers is the amount of social engineering involved. All of the exchanges are infiltrated by very talented employees who blend in perfectly. These “undercover” employees always manage to discover the vital information needed to pinpoint and exploit the vulnerabilities.
Naturally, the attackers need to transfer the money between themselves and they require the aid of laws. So they often use the exchanges in countries with the “weakest” anti-money laundering (AML) laws. According to CipherTrace nearly 400 000 BTC have been laundered throughout these exchanges. This has already been noticed and governments all around the worlds are taking measures. Some will tighten their AML laws, while others will focus on crypto regulation. Either way, cyber attacks won’t stop and the question for cyber security will always be relevant.
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