Cryptocurrency sleuth CypherTrace is out with their H1 Crypto report covering scams, rule changes, and major trends. The document claims that crooks stole $4.26 billion during the first 6 months as fraudsters continued to fleece good money from the unsuspecting.
According to CypherTrace, insider thefts were by far the largest type of fraud. CypherTrace goes so far to call 2019 the year of the exit scam. A single Ponzi netted $2.9 billion in crypto assets.
Hacks, on the other hand, look tame in comparison. CypherTrace claims only $224 million has been stolen due to platform vulnerabilities.
And then there is the $851 million that Bitfinex apparently lost. Go figure.
Other events of note during the quarter include new FATF rules which will be a hurdle for “virtual asset service providers (VASPS) – mainly crypto exchanges. Crypto pseudonymity is in peril due to the “travel rule” where all info on any crypto transfers must follow the transaction.
Facebook, another big name covered by the crypto press, may just be a harbinger of things to come s Google, Amazon and Samsung appear to be working on their own versions of crypto, states the report.
Bitcoin gets some heat as well as CypherTrace says the most popular crypto is mainly used for buying drugs, guns and other illicit activities. CypherTrace claims that Bitcoin is by far more popular in the criminal class than any of the widely touted “privacy coins.”
CypherTrace cautions that even while the crypto crowd has become more aware of digital scams the bad guys keep upping their game.
To quote the report:
“… exchanges and users are facing a greater sophistication in the tactics, techniques, and procedures (TTPs) cybercriminals are using to target the cryptocurrency space. In the case of exchange robberies, hackers have developed advanced methods to overcome even the current “best practice” security in place at the more vigilant exchanges. These include simultaneous takeovers of inside and outside user credentials to defeat security controls … many breaches involve blended attacks in which the hacker employs multiple techniques— including SIM Swapping, Phishing, etc.—against multiple targets to take over accounts of users and an administrator. These increasingly are pulled off with the assistance of a compromised insider.”
It is a dangerous world out there in the cryptoverse.
The CypherTrace report is a great synopsis of 2019 (so far). You may download it here.