Some crypto platforms might as well be wearing Hack Me signs
Hackers will always attempt to steal information through as many different vectors as possible and, even more commonly, avenues that pay such as banks or cryptocurrency platforms. The growth of cryptocurrency has been undeniable, and this can be partly attributed to the belief that it’s more secure than traditional banking.
Recent hacks have proved that neither is entirely safe from the threat of malicious actors. As always, it is important that organizations have the right tools in place to know where vulnerabilities exist and what they can do to prevent their customers’ data from being compromised.
Cryptocurrency platforms need to be taking precautions, as the number of incidents like this seems to be increasing. With the creation and rapid growth of modern technologies there can be an increase in error due to unexplored or overlooked vulnerabilities.
There are certain vulnerabilities that a company should be aware of that are most likely to cause breaches of cryptocurrency exchanges. A few of the most common vulnerabilities in crypto exchanges include phishing, weak protection of employee login credentials and software vulnerabilities.
Phishing attacks are still widely used because they are effective. If an employee trusts or inadvertently opens/clicks an email with malicious files, attackers can penetrate systems and steal cryptocurrency among other valuable data.
Stolen passwords, usernames and more can be leveraged to compromise additional systems. Fortunately, there are technologies that track user click-throughs and highlight the behavior as a key vulnerability to be addressed. Another important part of preventing a successful attack is educating employees to understand what phishing is and the red flags that can indicate a phishing attack.
Weak passwords and password reuse make credential exposure an easy pathway for an attacker to gain access to your network or to propagate across systems. In 2017, BitThumb, NiceHash and YouBit were all hacked because of weak employee login credentials. Ensuring tools are in place to measure password hygiene across all users and devices is a good way to minimize risk.
Because blockchain is still a fairly new technology, there aren’t as many laws in place that apply to cryptocurrency exchanges, resulting in overlooked software vulnerabilities. Exchanges can stay alert by using technologies that discover and prioritize vulnerability risk for all managed and unmanaged systems, including cloud-hosted, and locate critical devices and apps that, due to their vulnerability and exposure history, are most susceptible to hackers.
The best approach is using a tool that can make a full IT asset inventory assessment and provide prioritized fix recommendations. Over time, as we see the crypto world grow, organizations that are able to protect against these types of attacks will have the competitive advantage and come out on top.