Published: May 11, 2021 on our newsletter Security Fraud News & Alerts Newsletter.
Blockchain attacks saw their worst year to date, according to a report by Atlas VPN. The alternative e-currency platform has been under fire by criminals stealing from other criminals. Hackers launched 122 attacks against blockchains, to the tune of $3.8 billion. These hacks account for 33% of all blockchain attacks in the entire history of cybercrime against blockchains.
Blockchains are lists of e-currency records, called blocks, which are linked using cryptography, which is the science of hiding information. This perfect haven for hackers to stash ransomware and payments from prying eyes has become a huge target itself. Last year, blockchain attacks in record numbers targeted hackers and others who traffic in e-currency.
Blockchains experienced 12 successful attacks alone, totaling $5.91 million in losses, or more than $492 million per attack. However, research shows there were three main areas also targeted by blockchain attacks. Data from Slowmist Hacked shows the breakdown of the 122 attacks in the following areas:
Ethereum, an open-source platform for decentralized apps using blockchain technology, experienced 47 attacks, currently valued at $437 million.
Cryptocurrency exchanges, businesses that allow customers to trade cryptocurrency for other assets like conventional or other digital currencies, experienced 28 attacks with a total value of $300 million stolen.
Blockchain wallets, digital wallets where users store, manage and transfer their bitcoin, were the most lucrative targets of all. The average wallet hacking totaled $122 million per event, for a current value of $3 billion in losses.
It’s important to consider risk when dealing with cryptocurrencies. There are risks such as these, but others too. Cryptocurrency values fluctuate and a lot of money can be lost in that way. However, there is one that seems to happen more often than it should. That is the owners forgetting the wallet password. When that happens, there is no “forgot password” option and whatever that wallet is valued is lost forever.
Be sure to either remember those passwords or write them down and keep them away from internet access. While not the best way to remember passwords, writing them down might be the best choice. Just lock them away from prying eyes, including digital ones.
Most experts agree the future of blockchain security can’t be predicted. Already, two successful attacks have been reported this year, including a cryptocurrency blackmail case. In a post on its website, Insider Inc. has the following to say about the future of blockchain issues overall “Though blockchain has several advantages over other systems, there are still a few challenges in terms of compliance, regulations, and enforcement that will need to be addressed.” Like most things cyber, the future of blockchain has yet to be realized.
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