Hackers-Stole-Almost-1Billion-In-Cryptocurrencies-In-2018-Study-Finds

Hackers Stole Almost $1Billion In Cryptocurrencies In 2018: Study Finds

Fraud of cryptos through hacking of exchanges and trading platforms rose to $927m in the first 9 months of 2018, up nearly 250% from the level seen last year, according to a report from US-based cyber security firm CipherTrace released on October 10th.

The $166 million in reported thefts since the second quarter report was driven by an emerging trend toward more frequent and smaller cyber attacks by sophisticated thieves. CipherTrace estimates that total stolen cryptocurrency reported is expected to hit well over $1 billion by the end of the year – a currency that needs to be laundered.

Reuters questioned CipherTrace CEO Dave Jevans, who is also chairman of the global anti-cyber crime organization, the Anti-Phishing Working Group.

“This extensive research shows that regulation does have a direct correlation in hindering criminal activity, and we are on the right track to instill further trust in the crypto ecosystem,” commented Dave Jevans, CEO, CipherTrace and co-chair of the Cryptocurrency Working Group at the APWG.org. “We will see the opportunities to launder cryptocurrencies greatly reduced in the coming 18 months as cryptocurrency AML regulations are rolled out globally.”

Jevans told the agency that the real figures are likely to be 50 percent higher than those that were successfully tracked in the report, indicating that CipherTrace is “aware of” over $60 million stolen in crypto that was not recorded.

“All exchanges get these money-laundered funds. You really can’t stop them,” Jevans added.

The report is said to have indicated that these top exchanges have been used to purchase 236,979 BTC worth of “criminal services,” worth around $1.56 billion as of press time. CipherTrace declined to name the exchanges.

Jevans added:

“We learn about the criminal stuff often times after it actually happened. So there’s no way to know in real time. You can know 80-90 percent of the time, but it’s impossible to know 100 percent.”

“95% of outgoing payments that were traceable to criminals were made from unregulated exchanges”

Considering how easy it is to access unregulated exchanges – some of them are the biggest in the world – it also makes sense that 95 percent of outgoing payments to criminals come from those exchanges.

CipherTrace writes governments can restrain the widespread Bitcoin-related money laundering by determining and implementing more cryptocurrency AML regulations over the next two years.

We can already see governments making regulatory moves: Japanese regulators have already made local exchanges establish rigid identification processes in order to continue trading.

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