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January 4, 2022

What is a Cryptocurrency, And How Does it Affect Cybersecurity?

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Cryptocurrency, a fascinating piece of technology, is considered a potential curse on bankers as it has the potential to render them obsolete. The way the internet of things (IoT) and data technology, revolutionized information, cryptocurrency does the same for money.

Criminals have taken advantage of this platform to commit crimes against innocent internet users. Transactions are free of charge, and users enjoy a lot of anonymity. You can still lose your password or money by paying the wrong person. A computer security course can help you avoid becoming a victim of cybercrime.

Cryptocurrency: The End of the Money?

Money can be described as the catalyst for the best and worst human endeavors; it has been vital in global economic growth. The recent invention of Bitcoin, the first cryptocurrency, has made money to exist virtually or digitally, and each transaction is secured using cryptography. Digital money can be created, stored, and exchanged online, just like regular money.

Unlike ordinary money, which bankers create, cryptocurrency is based on mathematical truths that stand alone. In the real world, you rely on 3rd parties like banks to keep track of money as it moves from one account to another, and they usually charge handsomely for that. These middlemen are removed, making cryptocurrency cheaper.

A cryptocurrency like Bitcoin has an open-source code that is readable and shareable. Anyone or everyone can use the code; any change made to it is open and transparent. The deregulation of cryptocurrency attracts criminals who enjoy being anonymous while defrauding someone.

Types of Cryptocurrency Fraud that Affect Cybersecurity

Fake money can be invented but creating a counterfeit cryptocurrency is impossible. This may be the biggest win cryptocurrency has against money. Every system has a flaw that criminals can exploit. No one person, institution, or government keeps tabs on any transactions made on the cryptocurrency platform. Activities like money laundering are easily carried out without governments noticing. The anonymity found when using cryptocurrencies has boosted businesses that involve illegal drugs and pirated items. Businesses that accept bitcoins as a form of payment also face risks that could affect their daily operations. These information technology security concerns may arise from:

  • A ransomware attack: Imagine your files or database being encrypted, rendering systems and files that rely on them unusable. For them to be decrypted, you have to pay a ransom, probably a large amount of money. When payment is made through banks, the malicious actors are traceable. The only perfect way to stay hidden is to receive the ransom in the form of cryptocurrency. The anonymity nature of cryptocurrency makes it impossible to associate a person or a group with such an attack. Ever since cryptocurrencies came to life, ransomware attacks and payments have risen. After a cyber-attack, companies have paid up to $11 million to anonymous addresses.

  • Investment scams: Cryptocurrency came in with a big buzz; everyone was excited about this new form of currency. Scammers got wind of this and started luring victims into fake investment opportunities. Websites promising huge returns from investing in crypto are created. Supposedly, the more money you put in, the bigger the return. But when you want to withdraw your profits, the site asks for more crypto from you. In the end, you get nothing back; usually the website becomes disappears after a while.

  • Giveaway scams: Cryptocurrency investors can be duped into sending a certain amount of crypto to an address to receive a giveaway prize from a major cryptocurrency exchange. Crypto transactions are irreversible, and as soon as you realize it is a scam, it is too late.

  • Fake mobile software: Scammers have developed apps and uploaded them on mobile stores; they are meant to trick crypto investors. They can ask you to invest your crypto for fake returns. Although these apps usually are brought down, it still gets away with your data and crypto.

  • Crypto-jacking: This is when your computer is used to mine cryptocurrency without your authority. A hacker can persuade you to click a malicious link that puts crypto mining codes in your operation system. The link can also lead to a website or an ad that contains a JavaScript code that will execute and steal your data once loaded in your browser.

Enhancing Information Technology Security

Crypto cybercrimes have recently skyrocketed since this type of currency provides the kind of camouflage criminals are attracted to. Even though crypto is a game-changer, its security has to be enhanced to protect its users and their personal data. By visiting IronHack and taking a course in computer security, you will be able to protect yourself and others from any form of cyber-attack. The course could also be a career changer for you since there is a current need for cybersecurity professionals.

Any crypto user has to check for red flags before putting money on a website in the name of crypto investing. Having prior knowledge of cybersecurity is vital, it becomes crucial when using platforms like Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.

Even though the cryptocurrency has high levels of anonymity, do not forget to report any fraud or other suspicious activities involving cryptocurrency to bureaus such as the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), and U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

With emerging technologies like cryptocurrency, some knowledge from cybersecurity will help you enhance your virtual protection. A school like Ironhack offers courses in cybersecurity, web design, UI/UX, and data analysis. Check them out!

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