North Korea 'trying to hack Bitcoin' as cryptocurrency value SURGES to record highs Ashley Shen, an independent security researcher, said: We assume one of the reasons why Bitcoin is being attacked is because the price keeps increasing and we think its reasonable for hackers (to target) Digital currency might be easier to gain than physical currency
So I think its reasonable The value of Bitcoin has dramatically increased since it was first created in 2009 During the last week alone, Bitcoin’s value has dramatically risen, peaking at a staggering £11,940 ($16,000) per coin Ms Shen and her colleagues have tracked attacks by hacking groups Lazarus, Bluenoroff and Andariel on financial institutions including banks in Europe and South Korea, Bitcoin exchanges and an ATM company The organisations are suspected to be operations run by North Korea Ms Shen told Sky News: Before when we tracked nation-state attackers, they usually perform cyber attacks which are aimed at confidential data and intelligence
However recently weve discovered that some of the APT (Advanced Persistent Threat) groups are trying to hack financial institutions like banks and Bitcoin exchanges to gain financial profit She went on to add that the attacks have been unsuccessful so far The independent security researcher added: My own opinion is they will probably keep doing the Bitcoins because the price keeps increasing and its a good investment So I assume they will do more Bitcoin attacks and of course they will keep targeting banks because thats what they did before One of her co-researchers, who works for a South Korean bank, said: Just a few years ago the attacks were initiated to paralyse the society, but for some time now theyve been hacking for money – so I kind of wonder if they are facing financial difficulties
The National Crime Agency said: The vast majority of cryptocurrency use is not criminal Bitcoin is one of more than 1,000 cryptocurrencies and many people use cryptocurrencies to bank or to transfer money or make investments We do see cybercriminals using cryptocurrencies as one of a range of ways in which criminals try to launder money But criminals are mistaken if they believe that cryptocurrencies are untraceable and provide total anonymity Many dark webs and online marketplaces where illegal commodities are bought and sold rely on cryptocurrencies
The NCA conducts operations against criminal activity on the dark web and is alert to criminal threats which rely on its use Were also seeing that traditional crime groups are starting to use the Bitcoin network to store and transfer value, and using ATMs and peer-to-peer exchanges to cash in or out of the network Meanwhile, India’s central bank has warned investors not to place money on Bitcoin, despite its sudden surge in value In a statement urging caution the central bank said: “In the wake of a significant spurt in the valuation of many virtual currencies and rapid growth in Initial Coin Offerings, the Reserve Bank of India reiterates the concerns
” They went on to say Bitcoin has the “economic, financial, operational, legal, customer protection and security related risks” Despite the advice, retail investors in the country are rapidly putting their money into Bitcoin, with demand for the currency in India so high it costs 20 per cent more than international prices
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