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February 8, 2018

Cryptocurrency fraud booms as hackers capitalise on hype

The threat landscape is growing and constantly morphing as hackers uncover new attack surfaces. Booming cryptocurrencies are creating attractive targets.

By Tom Ball

Cryptocurrency entered the world as a means by which nefarious Dark Web transactions were conducted, but its popularity today has caught the attention of hackers for another reason.

It has been discovered in a Q4 2017 report on cybercrime that cryptocurrency markets are facing a range of fraudulent activity as cybercriminals look to leverage the popularity and value of the leading digital currencies.

The report from ThreatMetrix points to the creation of new accounts linked to fake or stolen identities for the purpose of money laundering. It was also noted that accounts are being hacked into for the same purpose.

“Cryptocurrency marketplaces need a more accurate way to verify the identity of new customers who open an account in order to prevent the infiltration of criminals,” said Vanita Pandey, Vice President of Product Marketing at ThreatMetrix. “Using intelligence from the ThreatMetrix Digital Identity Network, these marketplaces can better differentiate between good customers and fraudsters the moment they arrive, and thus see an immediate reduction in fraudulent activity on their platforms.”

ThreatMetric also gives perspective to the growing and morphing cybersecurity crisis by revealing a 113 per cent year-over-year increase in cyberattacks. It is important to note that not only volume is increasing, with the transformation of attacks also an important factor in the intensification of the threat.

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“ThreatMetrix holds an unprecedented vantage point from which to help businesses distinguish between trusted users and potential threats, using everything we know about the way a user interacts digitally to better understand the legitimacy of each and every online transaction,” said Pandey. “By harnessing intelligence from the ThreatMetrix Digital Identity Network, businesses can better detect the markers of high-risk behavior, and thus block cybercrime before it impacts the trust of end users—whether through breached data, monetary loss, or simply by increased friction.”

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Another important point from the report to note is the growth of bot attacks, having detected and blocked 840 million bot attempts in the fourth quarter of 2017. It has also been identified that as many as two million bot attacks were launched from Russia alone.

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