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Cryptocurrency hacks: Chainalysis suggests that two groups are behind most attacks amounting to $1 billion

Jibin M George

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New report suggests two groups responsible for majority of cryptocurrency hacks amounting to $1 billion
Source: Pixabay

In a startling finding, Chainalysis, security, and research firm have suggested that a majority of hacks against the cryptocurrency market over the past few years have been orchestrated by one of two professional groups or entities. The report, shared with the Wall Street Journal flies in the face of the common perception among many that most hacking incidents are individual con jobs.

Dubbing the two groups ‘Beta’ and ‘Alpha’, the report states that together, these ‘professional and prominent’ groups have stolen a total of $1 billion in cryptocurrency, 60% of which was part of publicly reported hacks.

It further states that on an average, each of these groups has stolen a sum of $90 million following each hack. This new information, if supplemented by further analysis, could be key to understanding how these hacking groups operate.

According to Chainalysis, both these groups have used an endless network of digital wallets to mask the movement of cryptocurrencies and hide their tracks. Alpha and Beta have then cashed out on and turned the stolen loot into physical cash through online cryptocurrency exchanges and user transactions.

The report, however, does differentiate between the modus operandi of the two groups. For starters, the Chainalysis report has suggested that Alpha is the bigger, more organized and structured group, compared to Beta, which it states is chaotic and ‘in it for the money’.

Secondly, the research also postulates that while Alpha moves the money quickly, usually cashing out within 30 days of the hack, Beta sits on the stolen loot for months on end, hoping for the media attention to die down before eventually cashing out.



Chainalysis have, however, released a disclaimer alongside the report, suggesting that the findings may or may not true. If true, however, it could have serious implications for the safety and security of crypto assets and currency.

For instance, the fact that such hacking groups are able to move such large amounts of cryptocurrency through exchanges that have AML and KYC measures of their own, indicate that there remain loopholes in the system that are being taken advantage of. The report by Chainalysis has suggested the same and has also stated that hacking incidents, such as Mt. Gox and Cryptopia are likely to continue as hacking remains a rewarding prospect.





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Bitcoin

Bitcoin prices hit $150 billion market cap for the first time in 2019 as prices pump by 11%

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Bitcoin prices hits $150 billion market cap for the first time in 2019 as prices pump by 11%
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Bitcoin’s parabolic rise that started in April seems to be staggering as the increase in price vs. the number of days it took to increase was surprising, considering the prolonged bear market.

The recent pump on May 27 at 23:30 UTC [+5:30] pumped the price from $7.995 to $8,939 in 7 hours with each green candle forming one after another. However, the price reached a peak at 05:30 UTC [+5:30]. After which the price declined by 2.85%.

Source: TradingView

Moreover, at press time, the market cap of Bitcoin has reached a new high, i.e., $154 billion and the price reaching $8,900 is a new all-time high of Bitcoin in 2019. Bitcoin’s total rise YTD was 146% and in a 24-hour time frame, the price of Bitcoin was up by 8.71%.



Meanwhile, altcoins have also followed suit as Ethereum pumped by 7.21%, XRP by 7%, Bitcoin Cash by 9.53%, Litecoin pumped the most in top 10 as it was up by 11.23% in 24-hours. Tron, the eleventh largest cryptocurrency pumped by 13.84%, at press time.

Anthony Pompliano, a well-known Bitcoin enthusiast tweeted:

“Someone check on @nouriel. Bitcoin seems to be coming back with a vengeance ever since he blocked most of Bitcoin Twitter.”





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