An international cyber-security company has released a report that details the increase of cryptocurrency crimes taking place in the USA. Most of the issues are linked to poor security settings and a lack of two-factor authentication (2FA) systems.
Most cryptocurrency crimes could be combatted with increased education for crypto users. However, the numbers coming out of the report from this cybersecurity company are an interesting read.
Tackling America’s cryptocurrency crimes
The international cybersecurity firm, Group-IB, has reported that the number of compromised crypto accounts has risen a shocking 369% since 2017. The figures reported detailed that an average of 720 accounts across all major crypto exchanges have experienced some kind of hack or have been compromised in one way or another. Virtually every major crypto exchange in the world has experienced well-publicized hacks in 2018.
Although most of the cryptocurrency crimes and hacks have largely been due to lack of 2FA security and lack of knowledge, the report has unearthed some surprising figures. The data shared with the hark fork has shown that over a third of all cryptocurrency crime victims were located in America.
The figures even showed that when the market increased in January 2018, the hacks went up accordingly to a massive 689% as a monthly average over January. During this period, 19 exchanges were attacked with the supposed losses in cryptocurrency reaching USD 80 million.
Group-IB also reported that over half of the malicious traffic came from the US, with over 20% from the Netherlands.
Weak crypto security is the key
Although a major problem with cryptocurrency crimes is botnets being fed to new members with malware that disguises itself, this is not the main issue here. Group-IB believes it is the lack of security such as weak passwords that is usually the main component of crypto hacks. Commuters that mine crypto can also be vulnerable while in the process of mining if you have not secured yourself properly.
Hacking tools are becoming more sophisticated with cybercriminals now targeting cryptocurrency crimes more than ever before as the market continues to grow. The report has detailed how the patterns are similar to what you would see in a hi-tech bank heist, by utilizing software to hack into exchanges with weakened security features.
The director of special projects at Group-IB, Ruslan Yusufov, recently said in regards to the findings that, “Increased fraudulent activity and attention of hacker groups to the crypto-industry, additional functions of malicious software related to cryptocurrencies, as well as the significant amounts of already stolen funds signals that the industry is not ready to defend itself and protect its users.”
The combination of poorly educated crypto users and meekly protected crypto exchanges has had massive ramifications on the upsurge in cryptocurrency crimes. Some of the most interesting information to come out of the report is that that one in five of the 720 compromised accounts uses passwords that have fewer than eight characters, which is a major concern.
As the quest to tackle cryptocurrency crimes heightens, it is important to realize that we can safeguard our own security just by having more complex passwords and enabling our 2FA security features.
I am very experienced writer/blogger who has been an active member of the cryptocurrency community for several years. I have experience writing for crypto news sites and proactively been involved in the startup of other ICO and crypto ventures over the course of the past four years.