Almost $100M worth of cryptocurrency already stolen by cybercriminals this year
In the first nine months of this year, hackers have already stolen $927 millions of cryptocurrency. Reportedly, these numbers are 250 percent bigger than the crypto stolen in 2017. In the meanwhile, this year hackers have already managed to steal $173 million in the third quarter alone. It means that cybercriminals will grow their earnings by at least a billion until 2018 comes to an end.
According to the study published by cybersecurity firm CipherTrace, the majority of thefts were made from cryptocurrency trading platforms which were hacked. This year, targeted attacks on cryptocurrency exchange platforms like Zaif in Japan have helped hackers to make over $60 million worth of Bitcoin cryptocurrency. However, smaller attacks are becoming more common.
Biggest losses logged in countries with a weak AML regulation
It seems that the most direct payments from cybercriminals went to exchange platforms in countries with weak anti-money laundering laws. The researched showed that cryptocurrency exchanges in these countries were used to launder almost $2,5 billion worth of Bitcoins since 2009.
AML regulations are put in place to fight criminal exchanges, protect citizens from scams, malware, and theft. Also, it should cut back cryptocurrency-based financial resources used by various terrorist groups. Dave Jevans, CipherTrace CEO and co-chair of the Cryptocurrency Working Group at the APWG.org says:
This extensive research shows that regulation does have a direct correlation in hindering criminal activity, and we are on the right track to instill further trust in the crypto ecosystem.
Bitcoin remains the most popular cryptocurrency in 2018
The research identifying the biggest cryptocurrency thefts has revealed that most of the exchanges have been made in Bitcoin cryptocurrency that is still more popular than other types of digital money. Since this is a first cryptocurrency that hit the market in 2009, it outgrows any newly invented currency. Even ransomware or other malware developers prefer this cryptocurrency over the others.
Bitcoin survived various attacks, has more media coverage and has the name used as a cryptocurrency synonym worldwide. Digital currency exchanges laundered nearly 380 000 Bitcoins this year. This is equivalent to $2,5 billion if based on today's value (5, 374, 57 euro for one Bitcoin).