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Cryptocurrencies are ripe for plunder claims cyber security expert

Ofer Israeli financial cybersecurity expert

Security experts are predicting that cryptocurrencies could soon deteriorate into curruptocurrencies, thanks to the lack of standards, compliance and security disciplines.

Even the name of the electronic currency is a misnomer, according to Ofer Israeli financial cybersecurity expert and CEO of Illusive Networks. The word crypt, from the latin orLatin, refers to something hidden and secretive. The world’s cryptocurrencies are wide open, according to Israeli.

“It’s no wonder that cryptocurrency exchanges continue to get hacked. They have barely been around five minutes and most aren’t regulated. That makes them highly vulnerable to attackers,” said Israeli.

On Wednesday South Korean cryptocurrency exchange Bithumb revealed that  $31.5 million (35 billion won) in virtual coinage was robbed by hackers. The news of the robbery came in the same week that a smaller exchange in the same country, Coinrail, announced that it has been broken into.

In a website announcement on Wednesday Bithumb warned that it had postponed all trading after discovering that ‘some cryptocurrencies worth about 35 billion won’ had been seized.

The exchange, which is the sixth busiest in the world according to Coin Market Cap, said it would fully compensate customers.

The reassurance that it stored all clients’ assets in ‘safe cold wallets’, which run on computers not directly connected to the internet, did not impress Israeli.

“Even with decades of compliance and experience, traditional banks still struggle to secure their networks and systems in today’s world of sophisticated cyber warfare,” said Israel. “The financial services sector will always remain the most attractive sector for attackers, therefore posing the highest risk.” It is vital that new approaches are taken he said. Threat detection needs to be early and accurate and even pre-emptive, said Israel.

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