Bitcoin and Ethereum are booming, altcoins are surging, and other crypto categories like DeFi and NFTs have taken off like never before. Money is being made on digital currencies and it is highly visible in the public eye due to mainstream media coverage of the cryptocurrency revolution.
With more eyes on the asset class, it also means that cyberthreats are rising. Here’s what the latest figures say about rising crypto crime, cyberthreats, and how businesses in the blockchain industry can do much more to protect customers – and themselves.
Crypto Scams Rise Year-Over-Year, What Can Blockchain Companies Do?
The 2018 bear market was plagued with high profile exchange hacks all over the world. It set the industry itself back years and while things have improved in terms of exchange operations and security, crypto-related crime and cyberthreats continue to rise year-over-year.
According to a breakdown of analytics company Bolster’s recent report from Alexander Vasiliev, the co-founder and CCO of the global payment network Mercuryo, crypto-related scams increased 40% year-over-year from 2019 to 2020, and is projected to increase another 70% in 2021.
“The attacks most of the time included fake prizes and giveaways, celebrity impersonations, and phishing attacks,” Vasiliev added.
The scams can even involve real, verified Twitter accounts that have been hijacked by cybercriminals. A particularly large hack last year involved several high profile Twitter accounts including politicians, CEOs like Elon Musk, and other celebrities like Kim Kardashian West.
Vasiliev highlights several critical ways that blockchain companies and crypto businesses can protect users and themselves. Tactics include multi-sig systems, advanced automated security protocols, and mandatory identity checks.
With the crypto market at $2 trillion, criminals are taking notice | Source: CRYPTOCAP-TOTAL on TradingView.com
Bitcoin, Ethereum, And Chainlink Are Top Targets For Cybercriminals
Vasiliev also revealed that Bolster’s report highlighted three primary cryptocurrencies being used in these types of scams: Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Chainlink. These coins tend to have some of the most vocal supporters behind them, making them a primary focus of cybercriminals when targeting unsuspecting social media users.
We now know how businesses can protect themselves and through that, its users, but how can users themselves bolster security? For one, always use two-factor authentication with Google Authenticator and not SMS-based 2FA. Man in the middle attacks and SIM-swap attacks can be eliminated.
Using a pseudonym whenever possible online, a PO box for ordering any hardware wallets, and relying on malware protection can avoid many easy ways cybercriminals can access crypto assets.
Never disclose to anyone that you hold crypto assets or how much, and use unique passwords that don’t end in nine or an exclamation point for all accounts. If that’s you, change them now.
There are almost endless ways to protect yourself, yet still the smartest criminals will still find a way. Keep your eyes peeled and follow as many safety measures as possible, and your chances for success can improve greatly.