Russian experts also concerned at increasing cyber-attacks on cryptocurrencies

News by Eugene Gerden

The number of cyber-attacks on cryptocurrencies have significantly increased both in Russia and Western markets in recent years following the global upsurge in their use.

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The number of cyber-attacks on cryptocurrencies have significantly increased both in Russia and Western markets in recent years following the global upsurge in their use, according to recent statements by senior officials at the Russian Ministry of Internal Affairs as well as leading local experts in the field of cyber-security. 

As Vasily Diaghilev, head of Check Point Software Technologies in Russia and the CIS region told SC media UK that hackers have began actively developing cyber-solutions for attacks on crypto-currencies and exchanges. In addition, botnets form a particular threat,  created by cyber-criminals for the surreptitious mining of crypto-currency. 

According to Diaghilev, the situation is complicated by the fact that some of these cyber-solutions can be built into websites, and are then able to conduct mining of crypto currency without the knowledge of users of these websites. 

Russian cyber-security analysts say that due to serious vulnerabilities in the cyber-security of such cryptocurrency platforms, the number of attacks on crypto-owners and ICO-projects continues to grow at very fast rates, leading to serious losses of their users. 

An example is a recent cyber-attack, conducted by hackers against NiceHash -  a platform for the production of crypto-currency -  which resulted in a theft of 4,700 bitcoins, which were equivalent to £27 million. At the same time another recent DDoS attack on Bitfinex cryptocurrency exchange had resulted in its losses in the range of around £40 million. 

Finally, during recent hosting of an Initial Coin Offering (ICO) by Coindash platform, the unknown criminals broke the web-site and replaced the address of a cryptowallet with their own. Before the administration of the web-resource discovered a masquerade, investors transferred hackers around £5.5 million.

At the same time, according to Diaghilev, even those companies that are not connected with crypto currency are also at risk. Reckless Internet actions by their employees  can lead to hidden use of the organisation's resources by hackers and illegal mining of cryptocurrency. 

Igor Dmitriev, an official spokerperson of the the Russian Ministry of Internal Affairs' «K» department (aimed at fighting cyber-crimes) told SC Media UK that the main problem is that token and cryptocurrency transactions are very difficult to track [ownership]. In addition, they can not be blocked.

According to Dmitriev, being aware of this hackers began to demand ransoms in the crypto currency. For example, the developers of the WannaCry virus asked their victims to pay ransom in bitcoins.

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