Digital currencies and software developed to track them have become attractive targets for cybercriminals, while creating a lucrative new market for computer security companies
In less than a decade, hackers have stolen $ 1.2 billion. Bitcoin and rival currency, according to Lex Sokolin, global director of fintech strategy for autonomous research. Given the explosive rise of the currencies by the end of 2017, the cost of today’s money is much higher.
“It looks like crypto hacking is a $200-million annual revenue industry,” Sokolin said. Hackers have compromised more than 14 percent of the bitcoin and ether supply, he said.
All told, hacks involving cryptocurrencies like bitcoin have cost companies and governments $11.3 billion through lost potential tax revenue from coin sales and illegitimate transactions, according to Susan Eustis, chief executive of WinterGreen Research. The blockchain ecosystem — the decentralized “distributed ledgers” that track crypto transactions — is also vulnerable.
Blockchain records are shared, making them hard to alter, so some users see them as super secure. But in many ways, they are no safer than any other software, said Matt Suiche, who runs the blockchain security company Comae Technologies.
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