While many cybercriminals steal identities, credit card numbers and other personally identifiable information, there is a rapidly growing group of cyberthieves who are targeting something far more easily turned into profits – cryptocurrencies. Forget the arduous task of selling thousands, hundreds of thousands or even millions of pieces of information on the Darkweb. Instead, steal cryptocurrencies, exchange them for the hard currency of your choice and you are done!
2018 Crypto-Exchange Theft Up 250%… Already
According to the most recent report issued by CipherTrace $927 Million worth of cryptocurrencies have been stolen in the first 9 months of 2018, an increase of 250% over 2017 and we still have 3 more months left in the year.
Source: CipherTrace – 2018 Q3 Cryptocurrency Anti-Money Laundering Report
Will Regulation Help Slow Things Down?
Is the key to stopping exchange theft more than just improved security technology? Many believe that increased anti money laundering (AML) regulations hold at least part of the key to stopping exchange theft. Their rationale is that thieves need to exchange and launder their haul of illicit cryptos and most of this laundering is done through exchanges in countries with weak to no AML regulation as shown below.