Hacking has been quite rampant in today’s cryptocurrency world. One of the largest cryptocurrency exchanges in Japan, Coincheck was hacked a few months back that has now triggered regulators in Japan to make the necessary changes in their rules and regulations. However, there are hackers who don’t necessarily hack crypto exchanges. Instead, there are those who simply accept digital currencies in exchange of information that they’ve stolen.
This was the case in London wherein police officials were able to recover $667,000-worth of Bitcoin. However, until today, it remains unclear exactly what should be done to the cryptocurrency.
A hacker known as Grant West was able to successfully hack dozens of companies in different parts of the globe using a method known as phishing. Through phishing, he was able to extract sensitive information financial data that was then sold in different web marketplaces in exchange for Bitcoin.
Grant West was sentenced to ten years for hacking. He was described as a “one man cybercrime wave” being able to steal personal data from around 165,000 people. According to reports, he was able to profit around $240,000 from the entire scheme.
At Least 17 Cyber Attacks
There were around 17 different cyber-attacks that were linked to West according to the London Metropolitan Police. Among the companies that were victimized by West included major UK-based companies such as Sainsbury’s and Asda, and even Finnish Bitcoin exchange. Though the initial list is already impressive enough, it seems that there are more attacks that are yet to be documented.
During the police raid on West’s home, the police recovered a memory card that contained 78 million usernames and passwords. However, the officials still have to figure out which platforms do these information belong to. However, it is safe to assume that these information were sold in exchange for Bitcoin. Police officials didn’t comment exactly which dark web markets were used by web in order to sell the information in the past years.
The Reason for Scrutiny
Bitcoin and other digital currencies being used for illicit activities is the main reason why regulators from different parts of the world are becoming strict when it comes to the crypto market. Some countries such as China banned crypto exchanges from operating within the country. And since there is added scrutiny, Bitcoin isn’t exactly the best digital currency that currently offers anonymity. In fact, crypto-forensics is now becoming sophisticated to the point that Bitcoin isn’t the best choice for those involved in these types of crimes.
Monero, is gaining popularity for its added anonymity to its users. In fact, Japanese FSA has ordered Coincheck to delist four cryptocurrencies that are providing too much anonymity to its users including Monero, Zcash, Dash, and Augur’s Reputation.
These cryptocurrencies will no longer be found in Coincheck by June 18 in accordance with the measures made by Japan’s Financial Services Agency. The agency fears additional risks in the future for these mentioned cryptocurrencies.
If Coincheck users still have some banned cryptocurrencies by June 18, these cryptos will be converted to Japanese Yen already.