Reports are surfacing about a breach at Bithumb, one of the world’s largest Bitcoin and Ether cryptocurrency exchanges, resulting in the loss of more than $1 Million in cryptocurrencies after a number of its user accounts were compromised. Ben Hertzberg, Research Group Manager at Imperva commented below.
Ben Hertzberg, Research Group Manager at Imperva:
“The last few weeks have been dramatic for cryptocurrency and its traders, when the market volatility gave opportunity to both honest investors and criminals alike. This is due to the surges in demand for Bitcoin (bringing it to over 2.7K USD, which has now stabilised over the last couple of days at around 2.5K USD) and other cryptocurrencies like Ethereum which spiked from “almost 0” to 400$ in a very short while, now at around 270$.
Attackers can make a lot of money when attacking crypto exchanges due to factors such as the anonymity of the cryptocurrencies, hence the ability to “get rid” of the stolen goods with limited risk, and also by speculating on market prices (especially in specific exchanges or markets) and causing dramatic changes. In many cases this is done by Denial of Service attacks, which are hugely popular against cryptocurrency exchanges.
In this case, according to Bithumb, the breach itself was of data stored outside of the company’s assets on a personal computer. This also brings up the question of data security in organisations, and the ability for employees to take sensitive information with them when they’re working out of the office. Part of this is due to the rapidly changing work environment, where employees get more remote access to company resources which poses a challenge to IT security departments.”