As the popularity of cryptocurrencies continues to grow, the number of people trying to take advantage them is also increasing. These people seek to develop more sophisticated means to illegally obtain the sought-after digital currencies.
A recent study showed the United States is the country where most cryptocurrency-related crimes occur around the world. The investigation revealed that cybercriminals have attacked the top cryptocurrency exchange platforms.
The study was conducted recently by Group-IB, which analyzed the global cryptocurrency market with a focus on hacking and cybersecurity. According to the investigation, the United States represents more than half of the cryptocurrency crime in the world.
According to Group-IB, of the 50 botnets continually looking for weaknesses on cryptocurrency exchange platforms, half of the malicious traffic comes from the North American country. The Netherlands accounts for a further 21.5 percent.
The study also revealed that about 720 accounts across all the major platforms have been compromised this year, a figure that almost doubles the reported 369 compromised accounts of 2017. More than a third of this number are based in the United States, while Russia and China are the other countries most affected.
Part of the problem would be a poor internet security culture, because according to the research, both users and platforms are not taking seriously the need for two-factor authentication (2FA) and the use of complicated passwords.
Of the 720 compromised accounts, Group-IB reported that more than 20 percent of them use passwords shorter than eight characters in length.
However, the advances of the digital market continue to be in greater numbers than the setbacks.
According to a Bloomberg report, an special agent of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) said that Bitcoin's role in crimes has decreased to only 10 percent of transactions, while the transactions themselves have "grown" tremendously."
DEA special agent Lilita Infante _ who is a member of the Cyber Investigative Task Force _ told Bloomberg that the ratio of legitimate to illegitimate Bitcoin transactions had flipped over the past five years.
This revelation helps to continue tearing down the myth spread by Bitcoin's critics that criminals use cryptocurrencies as an alternative to cash.
In fact, just in mid-July, during a public meeting in the US House of Representatives about digital assets, managing partner of the venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz, Scott Kupor, suggested that “Bitcoin is law enforcement’s best friend” due to its ability to track illicit transactions on the Blockchain.
By Alejandro Cortés
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