The cryptocurrency rush took the world by storm last year. This dynamic environment lured new players, including hungry investors, miners, enthusiasts, looking to their hand at innovative startups not to mention threat actors. We witnessed blockchain splits, a boom of Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs), regulatory attempts by governments, the granting of official status to Bitcoin in Japan, and a plethora of other events designating the unstoppable progress of the virtual currencies market.

The flip side of the coin, though, is rather ominous. Amidst the numerous positive signals to the vast community of aficionados, there were bankruptcies of exchange services, ICO frauds that left backers desperate, Ponzi schemes, and even a kidnapping of a Bitcoin analyst. Another disconcerting trend that gained momentum in 2017 was the rise of cyber attacks targeting various segments of the infrastructure behind the digital cash. To top it off, stealthy cryptocurrency mining grew into another big scourge.

The whole frenzy with Bitcoin, the most popular cryptocurrency around, was understandably instigated by its price that skyrocketed from $1,000 to $20,000 during the year. Although some analysts argue this enormous rise to be a red flag and a classic attribute of a bubble, Bitcoin quickly became a must-have to many, including online perpetrators.

News-making incidents in 2017

Below is a rundown of malicious events that took place on the cryptocurrency arena last year.

  • In February, hackers stole personal records of more than 30,000 customers of Bithumb, one of the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchanges based in South Korea. They reportedly did this by compromising the home PC belonging to one of the service’s employees. The attackers then used the data and some social engineering to steal about $1 million worth of Bitcoin from victims’ accounts.
  • Threat actors made about $7 million worth of Ether, a popular type (Read more...)