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Sources reveal that hackers have easily stolen $1.2 billion worth of cryptocurrencies


Jan 22, 2018 Posted /  9610 Views


Sources reveal that hackers have easily stolen $1.2 billion worth of cryptocurrencies

The digital assets are all set to revolutionize the world and the people around the globe are attracted to adopt it as a more democratized form of the payment mechanism. However, this software became a lucrative business for cybercriminals who take advantage of the trust that is the core idea behind this technology. The numbers of the cybercrime pertaining to digital currencies are quite astonishing, as the hackers so far have stolen about $1.2 billion worth of Bitcoin and Ether.

Lex Sokolin, global director of fintech strategy at Autonomous Research LLP, provided these figures and if we calculate the exact amount as per the latest price of the cryptocurrency’s, the theft might be even big. “It looks like crypto hacking is a $200 million annual revenue industry,” Sokolin remarked. He mentioned that the hackers have taken out more than 14 percent of the Bitcoin and Ether supply.

The other figures by Susan Eustis, a chief executive officer of WinterGreen Research revealed that hacks involving cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin have cost companies and governments $11.3 billion as that could have resulted from potential tax revenue from coin sales and illegitimate transactions. Not only this the experts suggest that the blockchain ecosystem is also vulnerable to the decentralized ‘distributed ledgers’ that track crypto transactions can also be hacked.

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Those losses could expand with time, as there are more dangers that need to be meditated and immediate steps required to protect the users and the companies. Blockchain records are hard to be manipulated which is why many users find them secure. However, there are many ways they are not safer than any other software, says Matt Suiche, owner of blockchain security company called Comae Technologies.

The blockchain is still in an immature stage and which is why its industry is even more vulnerable than other software industry. Additionally, there are also thousands of the dependent technologies each with their own set of bugs. “Each implementation is going to have its own problems,” Suiche said. “The more implementations, the harder it is to cover all of them.”

The technology has a vast number of applications apart from being simply used for the cryptocurrency. The blockchain technology can be utilized to track identity information, property records, and digital car keys. However, the stolen bitcoins can be converted into hard cash also. An analyst at Andras Cser says that hacking the blockchain is way more lucrative as ‘the rewards are greater,’ and “You have much more information you can steal.”

We know that the cryptocurrency forks developed with time and this gave hackers a new way to penetrate in the blockchain technology, as Taiwanese security researchers commented that every fork gives hackers a new way to try to falsify data. In a December 25 paper, researchers at the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers emerged with the mechanism through, which hackers can expense out the same Bitcoins twice. Now, this was exactly what blockchain technology meant to prevent. The hackers also delay network communications between subgroups of miners, whose computers validate blockchain transactions, to permit for double spending. However, the IEEE researchers remarked

“We have no evidence that such attacks have already been performed on Bitcoin.”

Further, they added,

“However, we believe that some of the important characteristics of Bitcoin make these attacks practical and potentially highly disruptive.”

A researcher from Cisco Talos, a security group, found a bug in Ethereum blockchain that “can lead to the leak of sensitive data about existing accounts.” He insisted that there are many vulnerabilities in the network that needs to be addressed. This was evident from the fact that a security hole in the Parity wallet concluded in loss of $155 million in November.

During December last year, Youbit, an exchange in South Korea, claimed that it would file for bankruptcy subsequent to an attack, which resulted in the loss of 17 percent of its assets. In the same month, NiceHash mining service announced that hackers stole as much as $63 million in Bitcoin from its digital wallet. Not only this, Smart contracts and most of the blockchain-based programs that automate asset transfers are vulnerable to the hacks. Everyone was astounded when in 2016, hackers wrapped off at least $50 million out of the DAO, a venture-capital smart contract. After that, only an update to Ethereum allowed users to acquire back their funds.


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Tags: cryptocurrency worth of Bitcoin exchange in South Korea crypto transactions crypto hacking

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