McAfee, the cybersecurity company that works towards securing the Internet with software rather than semi-automatic rifles, have released a report detailing a number of risks they believe may be associated with blockchain-based technology. No mention though of gun-toting, ICO-promoting estranged founder John McAfee.
The report highlights the importance of making cybersecurity a top priority for companies implementing blockchain technology into their processes. Nearly every industry, from the government to retail to health care, has invested in blockchain technology to some degree in the past year. Yet despite its astronomical growth, focus on security has not been at the forefront of many organizations plans.
The market is expected to reach almost $10 billion by 2024 and yet barely a day goes by without some or other scam involving cryptocurrency coming to the surface. A recent report by Investopedia estimated that $9 million is lost every day in cryptocurrency related scams.
Millions Lost Daily
The report includes examples of phishing scams such as a fake wallet service that stole $4 million out of users accounts, and malware scams such as those using popular crypto-miner Coinhive. Research by McAfee Labs found that the prevalence of coin-mining malware grew 629% in the first quarter of 2018.
Exchange hacks are also at the heart of the reports security threats, such as Japanese exchange Coincheck’s $534 million hack which affected 260,000 users.
However, despite the depressing nature of the examples provided, the report goes on to note that there is tremendous enthusiasm to implement blockchain and note its potential to create value. For these reasons, governments, businesses and individual users need to be far more vigilant in securing their blockchain and cryptocurrency systems.
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