We all know about the long debate about crypto being the currency for con people. There are many times that various governments and officials have pointed out the problem with cryptos being unregulated. It is widely used in making illegal payments and is almost impossible to track because of its decentralized nature. This with the fact the crypto prices are surging crazily, the crime rates using crypto have also increased. The types of crimes vary all the way ranging from stealing from people to buying and selling illegal things and taking or giving crypto as payment.
Rise in crypto prices!
To make one thing very clear, when I talk about crypto, I mainly refer to Bitcoins and Etherium. The 2020 rally of the cryptocurrency that has carried onto 2021 is a clear signal of the growth of Bitcoin. If we even look at other cryptos in general, then also right now, the prices are 10 times the price at 52-week lows. The point is that Bitcoin’s growth has led to a similar increase in the price of other digital currencies. And even though the widescale acceptance of all currencies is not the same, things are looking very good for at least Bitcoin and will eventually be for Etherium.
Many major companies like MicroStrategy, Square, Tesla, Apple, Visa, Mastercard, and many other smaller companies have started accepting cryptocurrency. Among these, some of the companies have invested in cryptocurrency, while others have started accepting it as a payment method. And Tesla, among all, has done the 1st and plans to do the 2nd.
An increase in the crime rate involving cryptocurrencies
With the increase in the price of Bitcoin, the incentive to use it as a payment method for illegal stuff has increased substantially. There have been reports that North Korean military hackers have tried several times to steal crypto and money. And incoherently, this has something to do with Sony Pictures, as they say. The government has been trying to increase its security and prevent hackers from stealing money from people. On the other hand, hackers are constantly improving their skills, never leaving an opportunity behind.
Crytpojacking seems to be pretty harmless but can have a great toll on the victim’s computer system. It can also substantially increase electricity bills and reduce the life of a machine. And this has also become a new trend among hackers. They are now targeting individuals and even businesses and using their computer machines for mining cryptocurrency. This has become a real problem and is very difficult to solve.
The fact that the increase in crime rate has something to do with the price of the cryptocurrency was confirmed by the principal research scientist at cybersecurity firm Sophos. He said that research had shown a very strong correlation between the crime rate and cryptocurrency price. There are methods to reduce crimes related to cryptocurrency but before that, let’s take a detailed look at what these crimes are.
Sophisticated hackers are stealing millions
With the rise in crypto prices, any average wallet with Bitcoin or other such coins is of more value. And so it has become increasingly easier for hackers to steal more by doing less. The US government has constantly been scrutinizing such attacks and has come to a strong conclusion that North Korea and Iran might be involved in such attacks. Officials have gone out in public and said that the North Korean military had constantly been trying to steal from the wallets of inididuals and businesses. And even for Iran, the statement stands true.
The accusations of the government have clearly mentioned how much money companies have lost and when. These North Korean hackers use a CryptoNeyro Trader to enter the victim’s system and steal millions of dollars from them. In 2018, an Indonesian company lost $24 million to such an attack, and a Slovenian company lost $75 million in 2017. There are many other companies that have lost a substantial amount of money to such attacks.
How does the hacking happen?
The malware used by the North Korean hackers is good enough to be able to impersonate genuine software. This helps them gain entry into the victim’s system. And once that happens, you know what follows next. Once lost, it is impossible to get back the stolen money. This is because if you lose your keys to the Bitcoin you hold, then you can’t have access to it. And no digital wallets have crypto in them but have an encrypted key to the coins.
Researchers and analysts said that even though many crypto holders are smart enough not to click on a suspected link, they will most possibly not understand the difference between malware and an update. And since once the money is stolen, it’s impossible to recover or even be tracked, the methods used for such hacking have grown more sophisticated. The total amount of money stolen in crypto from 2011 to 2020 is a staggering $7.6 billion.
A rise in crypto prices makes Cryptojacking a viable alternative to direct stealing.
Cryptojacking is not a direct attack on whatever digital coins you hold in your wallet. In this, hackers take control of your pc and use its power to mine crypto assets. This depletes the machine’s power in the long run and results in an electricity bill that’s huge. And it’s not just one pc that they take up, but hundreds and thousands of individuals that are affected by this.
This can also result in a sluggish performance of your PC or Laptop and may result in very poor battery life. This is because the machine’s CPU and GPU will be pushed to their limits to mine Bitcoin for someone else. And it’s not just the case for individuals. Sophisticated hackers even target big businesses that use cloud platforms to mine cryptocurrency. This gives them a lot more power to work with and helps them get better results. And just a small piece of trojan software can give hackers the type of access they need to Cryptojack PCs.
And the worst part among all these is the difficulty to understand that you actually have hackers in your system. For most, the only giveaway is the huge increase in the electricity bill. And that too can be ignored by many just because of the fact that they don’t assume that their machines might get crypto jacked.
How to prevent getting jacked or hacked?
With the steep increase in the use of digital currency and the rise of crypto prices, it has become increasingly important for users to keep their money safe. Now that you guys know about the types of crypto crimes that happen in general, it is also essential to understand how not to fall victim to those. If you are an active investor in cryptocurrency, it’s best to invest in A+ security measures. As higher your crypto worth is, the more is the chance of you getting into a problem.
Having a hard wallet that can store the encryption keys to the Bitcoin you own can be an excellent idea. But do note that if you forget the password to your wallet, there is no chance of getting your money back. The primary way to keep your money secure is to keep the encryption keys to the crypto safe. There are three main ways to keep your keys safe. The first is to let it stay with the digital wallet, which makes them responsible for your encryption keys’ security. Though we cannot be sure that if something happens to your Bitcoin or any other crypto, you are holding, the company will take responsibility or not.
Secondly, you can keep the keys to yourself that make you directly responsible for them. And thirdly and arguably the most secure among the bunch is to store that the key will be stored by both the wallet and the user. This makes sure that the keys are safe from an attack at any one site.
Talking about the most targeted of the bunch are big businesses that have millions or even billions of dollars worth of cryptocurrency. These companies store their keys in cold wallets in physical vaults, which makes it impossible to get access to them unless you are the “professor” from Money Heist. And for most retail investors, the best way to keep their money safe is to use different passwords for different accounts. And make sure that the passwords are strong.
What are your thoughts on the current crypto prices and their correlation with the rising crime rates? Have you ever been a victim of such crimes? Let us know in the comments below. Also, if you found our content informative, do like it and share it with your friends.