The first impression of many people about blockchain technology is that it will actually enhance cybersecurity. The reason for this point of view is because of the structure of blockchain itself. With a distributed ledger system that ensures that information is decentralized, there is no single weak point from which to compromise it
Also, blockchain technology is designed to upgrade continuously as new data feeds are available. This also is often considered as another feature that helps to bolster cybersecurity. It is believed that since there’s such a consistent update, then any nefarious transactions would easily be figured out and corrected.
Furthermore, the transparent nature of the blockchain ecosystem has been considered as another plus for cybersecurity. It is thought that the update of transactions simultaneously on every computer in the network (nodes) ensures accountability and assurance. Again, a lot of stakeholders in the cryptocurrency community at large are excited about blockchain.
From the benefits noted above, a lot of traditional institutions believe the blockchain will be quite useful in their operations and activities. Some banks, for example, are said to have adopted a blockchain backed platform like RippleNet as the basis for their settlement infrastructure. Such efficient features are an added boost for cryptocurrencies as seen in the surging Ripple trade quotes among others.
Another strong point to note is that a centralized database for passwords becomes obsolete with blockchain. This is because of the use of private and public keys for identity verification, which appears like the ultimate solution to illegal password mining. Because of this, it is believed in some quarters that companies like banks, insurance houses, and credit card issuers have found a permanent solution to illegal data access.
Apart from just banking, many other mainstream and emerging industries have also been eyeing blockchain and its cybersecurity benefits. A survey by IBM indicated that 33 percent of some 3,000 executives from various industries are either considering or are already actively using blockchain technology.
A New Security Horizon
All the positives of the blockchain provide a big boost for the trade in cryptocurrencies. There are more than 1,500 coins and tokens to choose from in the crypto marketplace at present. Such range of trading options has given rise also to the boom in free bitcoin telegram signals. Market watchers and trade experts have found a way to let the world know how trade crypto for profit.
All of the potential benefits above might make blockchain seem like the cybersecurity Eldorado. Can it be the ultimate solution for internet fraud and other cybercrimes that have lingered for long?
Where Threats Lie
According to Help Net Security, early 2018 witnessed crypto mining dominating the cybercrime malware scene. Ransomware, which was discussed in the previous section didn’t even come anywhere near crypto mining. Illegal mining of cryptocurrencies off the blockchain ecosystem is a serious cybersecurity issue at present.
Again, the structure and system of blockchain allow this cybercrime to foster and even easier to perpetuate. Cryptominers gain illegal access to various computers and use their computing power, without the owner’s permission, to mine cryptocurrencies. Due to the decentralized nature of blockchain, crypto miners are able to use various CPUs, thereby making the crime even more effective.
The price of cryptocurrencies has surged for the greater part of the year, and more people want to get a hold of it. Like most raves of the moment, criminals also latch in on the train to get a cut of the pie. Perhaps the availability of bitcoin calculator in most websites flaunts the value of the wonder coin. This might explain the added push by shady characters to get it by all means.
An instance of how blockchain fetes cybercrime and threatens cybersecurity is in Ransomware. Some of the popular ransomware attacks requesting cryptocurrency include the likes of Cryptolocker. This was used in September 2013 to request 10 BTC, about $65, 650. Wannacry was used in May 2017 to demand $300 in bitcoin. Bad Rabbit was used on October 24, 2017, to extort bitcoin from victims.
It is becoming clear that even with blockchain technology, there are some serious cybercrimes explored with its functionality, In fact, the structure and system of the blockchain ecosystem, rather than preventing cybersecurity might actually prove to be a threat to it. How so? You may be wondering, well, here are a few more pointers
Despite the fact that blockchain involves transparency of the transactions carried out on it, it also ensures confidentiality. Therefore, while a transaction is confirmed by more than just one node on the network, tracing the individual might be a herculean task. This has made cryptocurrencies very attractive to criminals and nefarious elements.
Drug dealers, sex traffickers, kidnappers, and other nefarious elements operating both off and on the dark web have learned to deal in cryptocurrencies. Rather than wire transfers and raw cash which are more traceable, the confidentiality of some blockchain transactions gives these criminal elements a hiding place.
This is another avenue by which cybercrimes can easily be concealed by taking advantage of the blockchain. Transaction cloaking involves taking cryptocurrencies from various owners and muddling them up before sending them out to various public key addresses.
An operation like this (which is allowable in blockchain ecosystems like Zcash and Monero) make it difficult to trace criminals operating with cryptocurrencies. This is another way in which the blockchain threatens the viability of cybersecurity.
Should You Be Scared?
The question now is, what next? With all the cybersecurity concerns surrounding blockchain, is it logical to just avoid it totally and stick with traditions? Well, our answer is no, for the following reasons:
The Blockchain is an evolving technology
Regardless of all the cybersecurity concerns, progress is being made to ensure that blockchain and cryptocurrencies are safer for everyone.
Nowhere is actually safe
The threat of cybercrime, in recent times, is an unavoidable risk of doing business. You’re still at risk of falling victim to cyber-attacks, on or off the chain. The best thing, therefore, is not to avoid the blockchain. It is best to put in place proper precautions regardless of the platform you’re using.
The transparency of the blockchain makes it easier to explore it for a range of reasons. However, since some of its features allow for a cloaking of identity, it can also become a cybersecurity threat. As an unfolding technology, the line if best-fit for the blockchain should emerge in no time.
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