Research has shown that Americans form the main target for cryptocurrency hacks. The research, conducted by Russian-based computer forensics and information security firm called Group-IB, revealed the findings in a report aptly titled “2018 Cryptocurrency Exchanges-User Accounts Leaks Analysis.”
The report revealed that as compared to 2016, 2017 saw a threefold increase in the number of unauthorized logins into user accounts. The findings showed 212 leaks of login data in January this year, which represents an increase of more than 600 percent in the monthly average previously seen in 2017.
So, why the increase in the number of leaks and unauthorized logins? According to the report, this is attributed to the excitement that has accompanied the rise of cryptocurrency. The presumed growth in value of the cryptocurrency has made criminals look for a way to get to the cryptocurrency held in various people’s wallets.
The study reveals that the countries that are targeted by hackers on a large scale include the US, Russia, and China. However, the percentage of Americans is high compared to other countries.
Hackers Target Trading Platforms
The research goes ahead to point out that major cryptocurrency exchanges have been faced with attempted attack upon attack by hackers trying to steal data and cryptocurrencies. The hackers have gone ahead to adopt the same tricks they use on banks, which puts the trading platforms in a vulnerable position for attack.
Some exchanges have been lucky enough to ward off the cyber attacks without any losses, but those that didn’t have a solid security system in place ended up in financial losses that total more than $80 million through the leaks.
Via its research, Group-IB says it has identified more than 50 active botnets that are responsible for the leaks, with the hackers’ infrastructure working worldwide. Most of the botnets are in the US and the Netherlands. One of the popular botnets was identified to be the Pony Formgrabber that works by grabbing login credentials and authorization of users.
The Relationship between Crypto and Increase in Hacks
The group has noticed a relationship between the growing interests in cryptocurrency from all walks of life to the number of hacks. As cryptocurrency continues to grow and gain acceptance, so do the hackers get the desire to get to the coins. As more and more users create accounts, most of the platforms forget about the security of the platform, leaving loopholes for the hackers to exploit.
How to Safeguard Your Interests on These Platforms
The research group recommends that you use different passwords for different platforms and enabling the 2-factor authentication (2FA) option. Avoid using public Wi-Fi for carrying out transactions; the group goes ahead to warn. The platforms are advised to make the 2FA a must for all users and conduct regular security analysis for enhanced security.