Is cryptocurrency really a reliable technology? That is what those who defend it say. However, the number of stories related to crypto theft continues to rise.
The last, that of a simple teenager who, with the help of an accomplice, managed to steal $ 36 million. A big blow to the new tamper-proof payment technology? Not at all. If the technology is solid, digital bullies can exploit some flaws.
- He wants a souvenir of $ 36m worth of crypto in Canada.
- An inevitable phenomenon or a challenge for the ecosystem?
- Mount Gox and Kobayashi influence the price of BTC
This is the first time that such an amount has been stolen from a large crypto wallet in Canada. If these 36 million are far from the 611 million hacked on Polynetwork, the case is quite different. In the case of Polynetwork, it is an ethical hacker who has already returned almost all of the funds. According to the hacker, it was a question of “highlighting a computer defect.”
In this Canadian case, a person was robbed by a teenager who had an accomplice in a telephone provider. The trick is to give the target a SIM card damaged by the hacker.
In fact, the accomplice of the telephony provider installs a fraudulent SIM card. The latter allows you to capture identity, security, wallet and verification application information. And especially the famous two-factor authentication, the essential 2FA. The teenager was arrested after trying to buy rare usernames in online games.
Attacks are not uncommon in this environment. And the amounts quickly make you dizzy. Among the records, we can cite the attack that Japan experienced this summer through its Liquid platform. On this occasion, almost $ 100 million disappeared. Bitfinex is also present in this ranking, with $ 72 million stolen in 2016. Towards the end of the rankings, the small amounts are legion. From 50 to 1000 euros, even small hands are the target of criminals. Your favorite tool? Identity fraud.
However, the situation is complex. Thieves use wits to carry out attacks that are almost art. It is much more complex than credit card fraud. And the targets are vulnerable in many cases. Yet despite this haunting image, the blockchain does not lend itself to theft. Because even if they are possible, in gigantic proportions, blockchain tools also offer perfect transparency. And all transactions are traceable. No matter how much thieves pass money through hundreds and hundreds of addresses, it can still be traced.
Tom Robinson, chief scientist at blockchain analytics firm Elliptic says:
“I think that although crypto assets can be stolen, it is extremely difficult to launder and withdraw them, due to the transparency of blockchain and the use of blockchain analytics.”
But these cases are also happening here in France, where a poor 19-year-old was killed in a crypto theft. His 33-year-old lover surrounded himself with at least 5 accomplices to drug the victim, kidnap and torture her. All for an estimated amount of 200,000 euros. Police found his body with stab wounds in a pond in Haute Saône. The cruelty of this business is obviously not unique to cryptocurrencies, but the amounts people earn from active cryptocurrency trading tend to make you dizzy.
Mont Gox, the founding act of crypto
Perhaps the first case of this type was the one that aroused the most passion. With the explosion of the Mt. Gox affair, cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum have become the heist of the century symbol for the whole world. Although most investors obviously do not pay 850,000 Bitcoin, in the collective imagination this is more or less the case. Let’s go back to this story that is almost among the founding myths of cryptocurrencies and Bitcoin.
In 2013, the Mont Gox phenomenon saw the loss of a portfolio of 850,000 BTC or more than $ 450 million at the time. If the amount is already huge, especially in 2013 when you can only buy Bitcoin on the dark platform that is the darkweb, the price of Bitcoin today gives it a new dimension. Because 850,000 BTC with a Bitcoin at $ 60,000, that represents $ 51 billion.
In 2018, Japanese lawyer Nobuaki Kobayashi in charge of the case said that he was in control of 150,000 BTC to repay creditors. However, 600,000 coins remain untraceable.
These deals are a reality in the cryptocurrency landscape. These assets are so valuable that hackers use their imaginations to get their share of the pie. And paradoxically, they play a role in the development of cryptocurrencies. Because these malicious acts, ever more advanced, strengthen cryptocurrencies. And in the face of such dangers, developers have no choice but to be bulletproof. Securing the blockchain equals or exceeds the ferocity of thieves. And trust me, these thieves are ferocious.
Going back to the Canadian teenager and his $ 36 million, his exact sentence is not yet known. Although he only acted in his own personal interest, he unknowingly put his finger in a new area for improvement. Because this smart little guy has taken advantage of a flaw in the 2FA security system. So the world of cryptocurrencies is truly unique. Because it is built without a level of trust, without a central entity. As a result, it is potentially everyone’s goal. But it is being built little by little, to withstand attacks from around the world. Despite a few billion dollars stolen, it works quite well.
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