And they’re still at large.
Prominent Hacking Groups
Hacking cryptocurrency exchanges and running away with the bounty is enormously lucrative, according to new research.
According to cryptocurrency fraud detection company Chainalysis, just two prominent hacking groups have stolen “around $1 billion to date.” For perspective, that’s well over half of all cryptocurrency stolen through publicly known hacks.
Lack of Regulation
The two groups worked together to steal cryptocurrency through phishing schemes, ransomware, and other security soft spots. Then they transferred funds from cryptocurrency wallet to wallet, in order to launder the funds, according to Chainalysis.
Making matters worse is the fact that cryptocurrency exchanges — companies that exchange cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin or Ethereum for regular currency — are for the most part unregulated. More and more of these exchanges have been hacked over the years, pointing towards lax security standards.
That sense of insecurity hasn’t helped the blockchain industry. The value of Bitcoin has been in a downward spiral after peaking in December 2017 over a year ago.
While financial security firms are finally catching on to these schemes, hackers are also becoming more adept. They’re finding new ways to steal cryptocurrency — by stealing identities, hijacking public Wi-Fi connections, or even bypassing two-factor authentication.
There’s plenty of evidence that the industry hasn’t learned its lesson yet. And that’s a big problem. The two unnamed hacker groups are likely still at large — without major crackdowns on cryptocurrency exchanges and meaningful regulation, they’re bound to get away with even more in the future.
READ MORE: Two Groups Account for $1 Billion in Cryptocurrency Hacks, New Report Says [The Wall Street Journal]