Hackers to come after cryptocurrency players: study

The industry is expanding and funds are in danger of being compromised

Hackers to come after cryptocurrency players: study
The cryptocurrency industry is believed to be in the crosshairs of hackers and cybercriminals as it gains traction amongst financial players and investors.

According to a report from Group IB, hackers are switching their focus from banks to the unregulated currency market. In the past years, cryptocurrency offerings, wallets, exchanges, and funds have been amassing increasingly large capitalisations and funds, making them a viable target for cybercriminals.

"In technical terms, the attacks against service providers in this sector are no more difficult than against banks, however, the information security in place and maturity of blockchain companies is significantly lower," the research said.

Additionally, the anonymous and unregulated nature of blockchain seems to motivate hackers, as these characteristics of the technology diminish the risks of them being caught.

Meanwhile, the report also foresees hackers attacking more industrial facilities with their acquired knowledge of critical infrastructure. Group IB said that over the past year, hackers’ competence has grown along with their capacities to impact such infrastructures.

"Therefore, we now forecast new large-scale incidents targeting industrials and related core infrastructure," the group said.

However, banks will remain easy targets. Group IB said by ruining the banks' IT infrastructure, cybercriminals will attempt to cover their tracks during thefts. The aim is to so make sure the banks sustain the maximum damage to discontinue their banking operations.

"In both cases, the damage done to banks may be even greater than the amount of funds stolen due to service interruptions and resulting reputational and regulatory impact," the group said.

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