The enthusiasm for Bitcoin and dramatic increase in its value in 2017 has proven to be very attractive to cybercriminals, who took advantage of investors’ lack of knowledge to hack them.
Cryptocurrencies have in fact shown to have serious security and governance flaws. Other cybercurrency risks have also been exposed: “Managing and handling cryptocurrencies is risky for people,” says Louis Roy, Assurance Partner and President of Catallaxy, subsidiary of Raymond Chabot Grant Thornton.
“For example, if you lost your private key, you would no longer have access to your assets. This isn’t like misplacing your debit card, which can easily be replaced.”
Many investors keep their assets as cryptocurrencies on their cellphone. In addition to the risk of losing their assets, they could be the target of cyberattacks. Investors must therefore be even more vigilant, especially when it comes to phishing scams.
Some investors rely on an intermediary to manage their cryptocurrencies.
“In some cases, the loss of assets is not due to an attack, but rather to a management or fraud issue,” Roy adds.
Recently, the suspicious death of the company founder resulted in more than $250M in losses for the cheated investors.
Roy questions: “How can you explain that a company leader had millions of his clients’ dollars all to himself on his personal computer? To improve cybersecurity in the cryptocurrency field, we’ll have to stimulate technological innovations and better inform users, but there are regulatory framework issues as well.”
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