There are many problems surrounding the crypto industry today. From bearish trends and regulatory problems, these are just some of the few realities in the crypto market today. However, one of the most pressing matters includes security threats. In fact, EOS, the ICO that was able to raise $4 billion, was discovered to have different bugs that are considered vulnerabilities.
To give you an idea just how much the entire crypto market lost due to theft, roughly around $1.1 billion worth of cryptocurrency was lost just in the first half of 2018 alone. And according to cybersecurity company Carbon Black, this is something simple to do.
Criminals make use of the dark web in order to facilitate the theft. Just how rampant has this problem become? There are an estimated 12,000 marketplaces and 34,000 offerings that are related to stolen cryptocurrencies.
According to Rick McElroy who works as Carbon Black Security strategist, “It’s surprising just how easy it is without any tech skill to commit cybercrime like ransomeware”. He also added that “It’s not always these large nefarious groups, it’s in anybody’s hands”.
The average cost of malware is at $224. It can even be priced as low as more than just one dollar. And because of this problem, the marketplace for malware is now a booming $6.7 billion economy according to the study.
Dark Web Anonymity
The dark web is usually the venue where people could buy software for these activities as well as buy and sell stolen cryptos. The dark web can only be accessed using a special software. According to McElroy, “You just have to be able to log in and be able to buy the thing—you can call customer support and they’ll give you tips”. The thing with theft is that it comes in different sizes. It can be a crime group that is trying to target crypto exchanges while it can also be an engineer in need of some extra cash. McElroy said that “You have nations that are teaching coding, but there’s no jobs”. He also added that “It could be two people in Romania needing to pay rent”.
Exchanges as Target
Crypto exchanges are usually the target of criminals. In fact, Coincheck has lost $500 million of their customer’s funds because of a security vulnerability. There is also Mt. Gox which is the largest crypto exchange during that time that was hacked. In 2014, it had no other choice but to file for bankruptcy as it lost around 750,000 bitcoins from its users and 100,000 from the exchange. Also, you have the South Korean exchange Youbit that lost 17% of its total digital assets.
Aside from exchanges, businesses are also vulnerable to attacks. In fact, internal systems of businesses can be hacked and demand cryptocurrencies as its ransom. The top choice for cryptos used for ransom isn’t exactly Bitcoin. These days, Monero is the preferred cryptocurrency considering the additional anonymity that it can offer the user.
The United States is still the most vulnerable country in terms of hacking-related incidents. This is followed by China and UK coming in third.