Criminals capture $1.2bn in cryptocurrency since 2017
Criminals have stolen about $1.2 billion in cryptocurrencies since the beginning of 2017, according to estimates from the Anti-Phishing Working Group (APWG).
This alarming figure was part of APWG’s research on cryptocurrency and includes reported and unreported theft.
“One problem that we’re seeing in addition to the criminal activity like drug trafficking and money laundering using cryptocurrencies is the theft of these tokens by bad guys,” Dave Jevans CEO of cryptocurrency security firm CipherTrace, told Reuters in an interview.
Jevans is also chairman of APWG.
Of the $1.2 billion, Jevans estimates that only about 20% or less has been recovered, noting that global law enforcement agencies have their hands full tracking down these criminals.
Jevans also has some words concerning future investigations of criminal activity due to GDPR.
“GDPR will negatively impact the overall security of the internet and will also inadvertently aid cybercriminals,” explains Jevans. “By restricting access to critical information, the new law will significantly hinder investigations into cybercrime, cryptocurrency theft, phishing, ransomware, malware, fraud and crypto-jacking.”
Reuters reminds us that the implementation of GDPR means that most European domain data in WHOIS, the internet’s database of record, will no longer be published publicly after today (25 May). WHOIS contains the names, addresses and email addresses of those who register domain names for websites.
Jevans notes that WHOIS data is crucial in performing investigations that allow for the recovery of stolen funds, identifying the persons involved and providing vital information for law enforcement to arrest and prosecute criminals.
“So what we’re going to see is that not only the European market goes dark for all of us; so all the bad guys will flow to Europe because you can actually access the world from Europe and there’s no way you can get the data anymore,” Jevans adds.
By the way, while the cryptocurrency is unregulated, that may be changing.
A few days ago, the Bank of England (BoE) unveiled a cunning plan for its central bank digital currency (CBDC) in its never-ending quest for financial stability.
In the desert-dry, arid-evoking, 54-page “Staff Working Paper No. 725, Central bank digital currencies – design principles and balance sheet implications”, BoE explained its desires and ambitions.