Updated: Feb 5
It’s true that technology has opened up a spectrum of possibilities that years ago were unthinkable. Now, with our instant communication through smartphones and apps, it’s all constantly changing; with this change, there is also more vulnerability, due to everything becoming digital... This means trusting a device and its software to secure our information, whether it's bank information or your social network information. This digital transformation has brought a known field called cybersecurity. This type of security reduces the risk of cyber attacks by using software and protocols to protect data.
According to Cnet, “The leaders of six of those agencies, including the CIA, the NSA, and the FBI, testified before the Senate Intelligence Committee on Tuesday, during its annual 'Worldwide Threats' hearing. They discussed concerns ranging from terrorist attacks to nuclear strikes, but a major portion of the hearing was dedicated to discussing threats coming from technology.” The article also stated that “In December, President Donald Trump issued a national security strategy document that described cybersecurity as a top priority, citing threats included hackers from criminal enterprises and from places like Russia, China, and Iran”.
In my previous blogs, I’ve mentioned how the mining process is done for both adding a transaction and releasing new coins, and how this new blockchain technology is rather high on security. Well, apparently hackers have found a way to illegally mine cryptocurrency.
BBC reported this month that hackers hijacked government websites and others worldwide. BBC technology correspondent mentions that the rise in the value of Bitcoin has all eyes on this cryptocurrency, and therefore, it's more attractive to hackers. One of the topics that I have mentioned is the importance of mining bitcoins and how much process goes into it, such as equipment, time, and electricity. Nevertheless, hackers still found a way to insert software into websites. The visitors that go on the infected website will be mining cryptocurrencies with their private computer, using up energy and equipment without even knowing at the moment.
Last January, Coincheck, a cryptocurrency exchange, was hacked, and the company lost nearly $500 million in cryptocurrency. This is one of the biggest cyber-attacks in history, according to Fortune. The article also mentions that this hack has raised many questions regarding the security on bitcoins. I’m sure this is rather scary for all the people who had their cash stored in this exchange, or in other exchanges, since it seems it's not very secure.
As I was reading about this topic online, I realized that there have been many other hacks before on crypto exchanges. Back in 2014, one of the first ones was an exchange called Mt. Gox from Tokyo. The exchange was one of the first Bitcoin exchanges in the world with many customers. The loses from this hack were 850.000 bitcoins, according to Coindesk. Many people advise that the safest place to keep your cryptocurrency is in software wallets. Davinci Jeremie, owner of Davinci Codes, based in Chile, warned about this situation back in 2013. This is the link if you are interested in watching his video on his YouTube channel (Davincij15).
I believe that Bitcoin currency works, with all the needed processes; and even though there is no third party involved, it still records all movements made within the cryptocurrency in the ledger. Therefore, the movements are traceable, so it is not completely anonymous. However, other cryptocurrencies, like Monero, are designed to make transactions untraceable from senders to recipients... This just ruins credibility because why make it untraceable? This type of activity might make all cryptocurrency look bad overall, throwing all of them into the same basket.
It may seem very scary, especially if you are new to this encrypted world. However, it's best to be updated on Bitcoin news and videos because, maybe, if more people had seen warning videos like the one I mentioned, they would have got out in time... The best thing people can do is keeping their coins stored in wallets, where they're less vulnerable to these exchange hacks.
Hope you enjoyed it! Feel free to comment.