By Karin Zalcberg
For a lot of people, cryptocurrency just became that much more advantageous.
This month, the Bitcoin price went over the $14,800 mark in under 24 hours. That’s faster than any current Superhero we know and competing with the every other currency on the planet, with a serious ruthlessness that puts the major players to shame.
That’s the good news.
The bad news is that Cybercriminals are unequivocally obsessed with cryptocurrency and this recent thrust in the price of one the most popular cryptocurrency is yet another reason to exploit it.
Most recently, NiceHash, one of the largest Bitcoin mining marketplaces has been hacked and $70 million taken. With zero connection to cannabis, NiceHash is relatively new player in Cryptocurrency that gives users the ability to buy or sell the hashrate that their mining hardware generates with one of the supported crypto algorithms. Users exchange “hashing power” for BTH (bitcoins).
Crime definitely seems to pay in this case, as the hackers benefitted from stealing when the coin was worth $57 million, giving the hackers a free gift of $13 million due to the hike in the value of the currency.
The company confirmed the hack and paused all of its operations for the next 24 hours to figure out exactly which accounts were hacked and how many Bitcoins were stolen. They also stated that they are working with local law enforcement agencies and have initiated an investigation into the matter.
How can NiceHash move forward and minimize the damage?
The best thing is for all the users to change their passwords on the site and any other sites where they use the same credentials. It is also been rumored that NiceHash will be reimbursing some of the users whose accounts were hacked but it isn't clear who and how many of those affected will get their Bitcoins returned.
This is the last of a series of cybersecurity attacks that we’ve seen in the last few months. The last memorable one was the flaw in Parity’s wallet when numerous accounts worth over $160 million in Ether were deleted, by accident. Another one happened in July when $32 of Ether was stolen by hackers.
Cryptocurrencies are unique in that there is a very limited supply. Regular currencies are controlled by governments and are constantly losing their value as the governments print more and more of them.
Cryptocurrencies seem to induce the opposite effect; they actually increase in value over time as their remaining supply decreases.
There are currently only 21 million Bitcoins available for mining and experts predict that they will continue to be mined until about 2041. No more Bitcoins will be created ever again. There are plenty of other cryptocurrencies that continuously popup but each one will go up in value over time.
Aside from all of this being online and totally hackable, the constant increase in the value of every cryptocurrency is the best incentive for any hacker to want to get their hands on some of these crypto dollars.
We are going to see a huge push by cybersecurity firms to create better protections around cryptocurrency mining and wallet companies as anyone with an eye for money starts to get more interested and more involved.