By Vikas Bhonsle, CEO, Crayon Software Experts India
Cryptocurrency is currently one of the most trending financial tools or currencies, grabbing attention across the globe. Bitcoin, Ethereum, Cardano, Dogecoin are some of the most popular cryptocurrencies we have heard or read about in the media. If predictions are to be believed, then these cryptocurrencies can impact global finance in the coming times. However, the rise and increasing popularity of cryptos also increase the added risk of cybercrimes that need speculation.
But first, let’s understand more about cryptocurrencies. It is an electronic form of a digital asset or currency that operates as a medium of exchange like any other legacy currency. However, it’s an encrypted form of electronic payment that uses cryptography for safe transactions. Cryptos are decentralized digital assets that allow individuals or institutions to make transactions without any dependency on legacy banking institutions and governments. This very fact alone represents both the boon and bane of this technology.
The absence of any regulators or legal structures is also free ground for cybercriminals to romp. Cryptocurrency is already the most preferred medium of payment in ransomware attacks. Cybercriminals hide their true identities while they make ransom demands in digital currencies. When making an exchange, they can easily convert cryptocurrencies into traditional forms without ever being discovered. Cybercriminals can hack into cryptocurrency trading platforms and redirect the funds. They can attack any business and demand ransom in digital currencies as this form of cybercrime is outside the legal grid, and no evidence leads back to the perpetrators.
With cryptocurrencies spreading across the business world, cybercrime has become a real threat. Cryptocurrencies have also evolved as an excellent money laundering channel. Businesses or even individuals who make exchanges using cryptocurrencies are thereby potential cyber-attack targets.
The following cybersecurity risks are to be looked out for:
Phishing: In a phishing attack, trading platforms are targeted with malicious emails or links with the primary goal aimed at stealing user’s credentials that scammers can use to ask for profit or ransom.
Hacked trading platforms: Here, cybercriminals compromise the trading platforms by stealing funds from the users.
Compromised registration forms: The registered data by the user can be compromised, and hackers can or will then sell it in the illegal market for profit.
Third-party applications: An excellent way for cybercriminals to breach and access user data and target further attacks.
Malware: cryptocurrency-related malware enters the mining machines, steals the infected computer’s mining resources, along with the cryptocurrencies from online wallets.
Thus, it is primarily essential that the security measures of any crypto transaction platform are full-proof and have a multi-pronged approach to cybersecurity solutions.
Until and unless regulations and strict monitoring come in place, caution and instinct can go a long way in keeping our crypto transactions safe.