The number of attacks on accounts on cryptocurrency exchanges websites has increased by nearly seven-fold, claims a global cyber security specialist.
Group IB, which claims to be one of the world’s leaders in prevention and investigation of high-tech crimes and online fraud, says the number of security breaches against crypto exchanges grew by 360% by 2017 in comparison to the previous year.
“Because of the fuss about cryptocurrencies the number of incidents in January 2018 skyrocketed by 689% against the monthly average of 2017,” Group IB says on its website.
“The USA, Russia and China are the top three countries in which registered users became the victims of cyber attacks – every third victim is from the USA.”
Malicious programs on the rise
The company also expresses concern that the “the number of malicious programs used by cybercriminals is constantly increasing, and the tools are regularly modified”.
The group’s Special Projects Director Rusland Yusufov predicts that, by the end 2018, the world will be looking back on a troublesome year.
“The dark side of the crypto industry requires a response from the community, including researchers, scholars and the academia,” he said.
“Increased fraudulent activity and attention of hacker groups to crypto industry, additional functional of malicious software related to cryptocurrencies, as well as the significant amounts of already stolen funds, signal that the industry is not ready to defend itself and protect its users.”
All top crypto exchanges attacked
The group also claims that all of the world’s “top 19 exchanges have suffered security breaches: 720 usernames and passwords have been stolen in total”.
In January, according to Group IB, at least five of the 19 exchanges suffered attacks that resulted in losses of crypto totalling $80 million.
The firm assures that more than half of the “malicious traffic is coming from the US, while the Netherlands provides 21.5%”.
The report by the group recommends investors to pay attention to what they post publicly on social media and to avoid cryptocurrency transactions over public WiFi.