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Cryptocurrency Verge DDoS Attack - Industry Comment

May 2018 by Kirill Kasavchenko, principal security technologist, EMEA at NETSCOUT Arbor

The cryptocurrency Verge has reported it is currently experiencing a DDoS attack. Why are bitcoin exchange platforms increasingly vulnerable to cyberattacks as they grow in prominence? Kirill Kasavchenko, principal security technologist, EMEA at NETSCOUT Arbor comment:

“Cybercriminals are quick to tap into new avenues for growth, so it’s no surprise that hackers are eyeing the booming cryptocurrency market for opportunities.

“Cyber risk is particularly acute within the cryptocurrency ecosystem, and that’s down to a few factors. Firstly, attackers might launch DDoS attacks against exchanges as an extortion threat. Growing audience numbers, and competition between different exchanges, means organisations cannot tolerate this service unavailability. Hackers might believe these factors make exchanges more willing to negotiate. They need to be proven wrong, as each penny spent on a ransom is a penny invested into the attacker’s infrastructure, which will be used for further DDoS campaigns.

“Secondly, the primary motivation is often to manipulate cryptocurrency rates by making trading platforms unavailable. Failure to maintain usual business activities benefits these malicious actors, and ultimately opens the door to further attacks, which is why it is essential that attacks are contained. Finally, cryptocurrencies do not have any legal status in most countries. That makes the prosecution of attackers problematic not only from technical, but also from a legal, point of view. We need to join the dots between all of these areas, and that will require collaboration between exchanges, governments, and cyber security professionals.”




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