Exchanges, Wallets, ICOs Are Prime Hacker Targets, Report Claims

Crime, FinTech, News | October 13, 2017 By:

A report by cyber-security firm Group IB claims criminal hackers will increasingly focus on the cryptocurrency industry in the coming year. Why?  Like bank robber Willie Sutton once noted, it’s where the money is.

Wallets, exchanges, and initial coin offerings have been accumulating increasingly large capitalizations and funds. Unlike banks, the new companies in the sector don’t have a lot of experience in safeguarding their storehouses, reducing the effort needed to penetrate systems and lessening the chances of early detection. Thus, they will be prime targets of cyber-thieves.

The shift in priorities comes as state-sponsored hackers play a bigger role in the shadowy world of hacking. Group IB’s report indicates that, in the next year, banks will be targeted not for money, but for destruction of their IT infrastructure. State-sponsored hackers have different goals than thieves, and hope to damage banks to the point where operations are disrupted. That would cause reputational and regulatory impacts. Similarly, industrial facilities are also at risk, with hackers gaining increasing competance in penetrating even complex and unique IT systems.