Advancing and persuing with my second series of Cyber Awareness write-up on the latest trend of digital currency. I have opted for this topic to make the upcoming tech generation to be aware on such Cybercrimes.
Cryptocurrency, a digital or virtual asset designed to work as an exchange medium of money electronically and is secured by cryptography. Cryptocurrency is a decentralised method i.e. functions and power are away from central location and authority based on Block chain networks. In short Bitcoin is an application on Blockchain Technology. Blockchains is a method to ensure data protection or you can say data integrity. The first and most famous block chain cryptocurrency is Bitcoin, which still remains the popular and valuable. Some of the competing cryptocurrencies are Litecoin, Peercoin, Ethereum and many more.The accumulative value of all the cryptocurrencies in existence is around $1.5 trillion according to a survey. Cryptocurrency is in hype because it does not involve any third-party in the transaction procedure, 24 hour availability, and quick process and provides parallel Transparency. But as we know everything can’t be “Too Good ToBe True.”
SEMI-ANONYMOUS NATURE OF CRYPTOCURRENCY
Cryptocurrency has a semi-anonymous nature which is now well suited for hosting illegal activities such as money laundering, tax evasion ,drug peddling and many more. Let me dive you deeper into the fact that cryptocurrency is providing a rise to Cyber Criminals.
From Phishing attacks to Ransomwares, cybercrime has taken wide shapes. In the recent years cryptocurrency has become the favourite detergent for criminals for money laundering.
Crypto transactions actually do not require real names, so it’s easy for a cyber-criminal to be unidentified. They hide their identity when asking for digital currency.
A survey revealed that there has been a growth in usage of technology that provides user anonymity firstly the darknet and then the digital asset Cryptocurrency. There is no control over its value. Hence, it becomes difficult to trace the transactions.
In an investigation case it was found that a young man living in Bengaluru used his girlfriend’s debit card without her knowledge to buy drugs on the darknet with Bitcoins and sold them to students. It was also found that in India where households hold more than 25,000 tonnes of gold , investments in crypto grew from about $200 million to nearly $40 million in the past year. There is no regulator or control over its value. Thus, it becomes difficult to trace the transactions. Cyber criminals also use a method to attack your crypto names as Cryptojacking.
WHAT IS CRYPTOJACKING?
HOW TO PREVENT YOURSELF FROM
1) Ad-blockers: As cryptojacking attacks are also delivered through web browsers ad-blockers can be very effective. Eg: Ad Blocker Plus has cappotential to come across crypto mining scripts.
2) End Point Protection: Install Antivirus to guard towards cryptomining.
3) Maintain Browser Extensions: Some cyber attackers are using malicious browser extensions to execute cryptomining scripts.
PHISHING: One of the normally used technique by hacker is phishing .An electronic mail could be dispatched to you claiming from an agency or want to exchange cryptocurrency .which might trap you and you are tricked to click on links or download attachments. Do check domain name and affirm email header before clicking on links or downloading any file.
Insertion of Malware: One of the oldest however main approach of attacks. In this attacker will attempt to seep into your device through keyloggers to steal your passcodes or do backdoor installation .So, by no means click on malicious hyperlink and Install antivirus.
Stealing Secret keys: For economic direction we require keys i.e. Public and private keys and private key is always kept with its holder and if your wallet is compromised all data is goneas private key is stored in there.
THREAT TO CRYPTOCURRENCY
The essential danger to cryptocurrency is through cryptocurrency wallets. Wallet is a storage container of you digital asset. Cybercriminals use state-of-art strategies to compromise and thieve your crypto.
Ways of securing your wallet:
Use Secure Internet Connection: Use a stable connection instead of usage of public Wi-Fi. Also,connect to a VPN while using private network.
Cold Wallet: Unlike Hot Wallets,Cold Wallets do not connect with Internet and thus, are not prone to cyber-attacks.
Secure Your Personal Device: Your device must be secured an have latest update installed and antivirus too.
Do not get Phished: Do not click on malicious or unwanted links arising in mail box.
Change your Password: It has been found that many people have same password and are breached so, do change your password or keep a complex password.
* Diverse your investment.
* Read how to store your digital currency.
* Read the scams held how you could guard yourself and other from crypto attacks.
* Atlast , Security First i.e. Before than doing any such investment or any important work which requires usage of your personal information, accounts or money do check all parameters from security view point.
(The author is student B Tech (Computer Sciences with specialization in Cyber Security domain) Final year, Chitkara University)