Cryptocurrencies have given birth to another market which is now controlled by criminals who, according to Rick McElroy, has seen cryptocurrency investors lose more than 1 billion in roughly six months in 2018.
Rick McElroy, a security strategist at Carbon Black, a cybersecurity company, has, surprisingly, indicated that stealing virtual currencies is no longer for the tech-savvy individuals but it’s “in anybody’s hands”.
According to CNBC,
“Criminals use what’s known as the dark web to facilitate large-scale cryptocurrency theft. There are now an estimated 12,000 marketplaces and 34,000 offerings related to cryptotheft for hackers to choose from. The necessary malware, which McElroy said even occasionally comes with customer service, costs an average of $224 and can be priced as low as $1.04. That marketplace has emerged as a $6.7 million economy”
McElroy also noted that thefts often come from highly trained individuals who are unemployed. “You have nations that are teaching coding, but there are no jobs. It could just be two people in Romania needing to pay rent. A lot of people are unaware in this new gold rush, people are using cloud wallets and not securing their money”
In all the cases involving theft of digital currencies, 27 percent was directed to cryptocurrency exchanges. 21% of business formed the next biggest target for cybercriminals who infiltrate business computers and demand ransom in form of cryptocurrency. The privacy nature of Monero makes cybercriminals prefer it when demanding ransom instead of bitcoin or ethereum.
Among the major hacks which led to massive losses of digital coins include the loss of 750K user bitcoins from Mt. Gox and the $530M worth of NEM that disappeared from Coincheck both of which are cryptocurrency exchanges.
In a related story, the Monero malware is still doing its rounds on the internet. This time, it has reportedly found a new home on the USCAC (US-China Association of Commerce) website. The malware is still doing what it does best, to hi-jack the computing power of anyone who visits the website to mine monero.
As Cryptocurrencies have given birth to another market, do you think it will get bigger as cybercriminals sophisticate their skills to cater for the increased security measures implemented by businesses and cryptocurrency exchanges?
Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.