More Than $1.2 Billion In Cryptocurrency Has Been Stolen Since Early 2017: Report

May 25, 2018 9:38 pm Published by
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The Anti-Phishing Working Group released a report this week which said thieves were able to make off with $1.2 billion in cryptocurrencies since the start of 2017 as the new digital currencies gain in popularity, according to Reuters. 

The report also said that more than 1,500 digital tokens have been made in recent years which were included in their report for reported and unreported thefts. 

“One problem that we’re seeing in addition to the criminal activity like drug trafficking and money laundering using cryptocurrencies is the theft of these tokens by bad guys,” Dave Jevans, chairman of APWG and chief executive officer of cryptocurrency security firm CipherTrace, told Reuters in an interview.

Jevans said that only 20 percent or less of the $1.2 billion has been recovered since global law enforcement agencies are still determining how to track down some of these digital criminals. 

He also said those investigations will likely take a step back when the European Union’s new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) takes effect on May 25, 2019. 

“GDPR will negatively impact the overall security of the internet and will also inadvertently aid cybercriminals,” said Jevans. “By restricting access to critical information, the new law will significantly hinder investigations into cybercrime, cryptocurrency theft, phishing, ransomware, malware, fraud and crypto-jacking,” he added.

The legislation was passed in 2016 and hopes to simplify the necessary rules which companies need to abide by in order to protect consumer data and return control of that information to EU citizens and residents. 

Jevans said that once GDPR is implemented most European domain data from WHOIS, the internet’s database of record, will no longer be published, including the names, addresses, and email addresses of those who register domain name websites. 

Once that resource is gone, investigators and law enforcement officials may have additional hurdles in preventing e-thefts. 

He also said that data is essential for performing investigations that result in the recovery of stolen funds since it can identify the people involved in the heist and give information to law information on where to arrest and prosecute the criminals. 

“So what we’re going to see is that not only the European market goes dark for all of us; so all the bad guys will flow to Europe because you can actually access the world from Europe and there’s no way you can get the data anymore,” Jevans said., Maureen Foody

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