Security Report Says $1.1 Billion Crypto Stolen This Year
According to a new CNBC article, a cybersecurity company called Carbon Black has reported that $1.1 billion worth of cryptocurrency has been stolen so far this year. Furthermore, Carbon Black states that due to the increasing amount of malware available for purchase on the “dark web”, cryptocurrency theft has become relatively easy to do. Carbon Black Security Strategist Rick McElroy tells CNBC,
“It’s surprising just how easy it is without any tech skill to commit cybercrimes like ransomware. The necessary malware, which even occasionally comes with customer service, costs an average of $224 and can be as cheap as $1.04 on the “dark web”. It’s not always these large nefarious groups, it’s in anybody’s hands. 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 “dark web” is a completely anonymous part of the internet, hidden from search engines, and only able to be accessed through the use of special internet browsers with encrypted connections. Its a highly controversial entity. On one hand, the dark web is often used for illegal activity of all sorts. However, there are also many advocates for the dark web who feel anonymity on the internet serves a crucial role in protecting users from the increasing infringement of governments and large tech companies on people’s right to privacy on the web.
Ironically, the dark web for many years has served as one of the main markets for the use of cryptocurrencies, acting as one of the few places commonly accepting bitcoin transactions.
McElroy thinks that the increased availability of cryptocurrency stealing malware isn’t even necessarily attributed to large organized crime rings. He states, “You have nations that are teaching coding, but there’s no jobs. It could just be two people in Romania needing to pay rent.”
The CNBC article reveals that exchanges were the primary target for cyber-criminals, making up 27 percent of attacks this year, followed by businesses at 21 percent.
Among countries, the US received the most attacks at 24, followed by China at 10, and the United Kingdom with 8.
As the popularity of cryptocurrencies continues to grow, its becoming increasingly important for crypto holders to make the necessary security upgrades to protect their property. We at Unhashed strongly recommend learning more about hardware wallets and how they can help secure your cryptocurrency.
Mcelroy tells CNBC, “Usually we rely on banks, the tools are out there but investors need to know how to do this,” McElroy said. “A lot of people are unaware in this new gold rush, people are using cloud wallets and not securing their money.”
Many cryptocurrency enthusiasts will state that the individual’s ability securely hold on to their own money in the form of cryptocurrencies rather than in banks represents the advancement into an exciting new age of freedom from government and institutional financial corruption. However, with this freedom comes with it a tremendous responsibility for individuals to protect their investments in the ways that they used to rely on institutions. As Mcelroy stated the tools are available, but its on the individual to protect themselves.
Jacob Godshall is a former professional poker player turned cryptocurrency enthusiast. He is a contributing writer at Unhashed, and aims towards furthering the spread of ideas and important information surrounding all things crypto. In his spare time, Jacob enjoys reading and making electronic music