The scale of cyber attacks on cryptocurrency exchanges is constantly growing: the last time it was hacked 720 accounts on all major trading platforms. The main reason is the low level of security and the lack of two-factor authentication (2FA).
The international company Group-IB, specializing in cyber security, conducted a study of the world of the cryptocurrency space. It turned out that the number of hacked accounts has increased by 369 percent compared with the 2017 year. Hackers attacked all of the 19 leading cryptocurrency exchanges hacked in a total of 720 accounts that resulted in losses totaling about $ 80 million. Over one third of all victims ― from the US, the rest of the compromised accounts belonged mostly Russian and Chinese users.
It is noteworthy that half of the traffic of botnets actively seeking vulnerabilities cryptocurrency exchanges, also comes from the United States. In second place is the Netherlands ― there is 21.5% of the malicious traffic.
In the report, Group-IB said that despite the steady popularity of phishing attacks, the methods hackers are becoming more sophisticated and are configured directly on the theft of cryptocurrencies. Criminals use modified patterns, originally created to infiltrate the high-tech banking system. Cryptocurrency exchanges, in turn, is simply not ready for such a powerful and sophisticated attacks.
According to the Director of Group-IB special projects Ruslan Yusufov, the root of the problem is a poorly developed culture of cybersecurity. So, more than 20% of the owners of the compromised accounts used the password at least 8 characters and not resort to two-factor authentication. Yusufov also said that a low level of security is typical not only for the cryptocurrency community, but most of the other Internet platforms that are not related to digital assets.
The report also States that users of the cryptocurrency exchanges often leave many "footprints" in social networks and using public Wi-Fi to conduct transactions. Thus hacking and stealing cryptocurrency for hackers become elementary.