According to analysts at Kaspersky Labs, cryptocurrencies may join banks, stock exchanges and investment funds in the list of possible targets for hackers in 2017.
“Over the last few years, enormous changes have occurred in this area. While earlier there was only bitcoin, now there are nearly 50 various cryptocurrencies, with almost ten of them having a serious market cap,” the company’s experts said.
Next year, new specimens of cryptocurrencies issued by legacy banks may emerge, which is likely to result in new threats, says Kaspersky Labs. Apart from financial markets, hackers may also manipulate oil and gold markets.
History knows some examples of grand cryptothefts. Mt.Gox has lost 850,000 BTC, while in June 2016, nearly 3.6 million Ethers has been stolen from The DAO. Notably, the still to be identified hacker claimed that he or she just exploited the company rules’ vulnerabilities, and therefore, his or her actions were quite legitimate.
Earlier, Kaspersky Labs announced that over the period of 2012 through 2015, at least $790 million had been stolen by Russian-speaking cybercriminals alone. According to the company’s assessment, at least a thousand people was involved in such illegal actions in Russia and its neighboring nations. Carberp is an example of an organized criminal community: its members have been arrested in Russia and Ukraine in 2012 and 2013. Another criminal group dubbed Carbanak was arrested in 2015. Both groups infected banks’ IT systems with malware to withdraw funds.
Earlier this year, Eugene Kaspersky, the head of Kaspersky Lab, suggested that even if cryptocurrencies are widely accepted, it is unlikely to happen earlier than “in five hundred years,” and only in the form of some analogs of what we know today.