Criminals are utilizing the top cryptocurrency exchange platforms to commit their crimes. Cryptocurrency, although initially designed as a digital currency that would be free from the corporal structures of metal, paper and government regulation, has become more well-known for its link to cybercrimes: money laundering, contraband transactions, tax evasions, extortion, and theft of cryptocurrency itself.
With this relatively new innovation of cyber currencies, it is difficult for investigators to keep up with the ever-changing techniques needed to investigate cybercrimes.
Studies have shown more than half of all cryptocurrency crime originates in the U.S. They also show that cryptocurrency exchanges have low password security, which leaves users vulnerable for hackers. Additionally, hackers can “lock-up” computers up for ransom or put viruses on individual’s computers to mine cryptocurrency against your will.
Cryptocurrency transactions use a mix of public and private keys to keep payments secure and in some scenarios, completely secret. You can see where the money goes and which wallets it is headed to, however, you can’t link the wallet to a person, so their identity remains secret.
Hackers have stolen billions of dollars’ worth of Bitcoin and Ethereum, which are two of the most popular digital currencies.
According to a recent Cambridge University study, about 6 million people around the world have spent bitcoins on goods from the increasing number of legal retailers who now accept the currency, as well as on the digital black market to purchase everything from Purple Haze pot to a kit that will convert a rifle into a machinegun. Cryptocurrency has been connected to various scams, hacks, and other cybercriminal activities, which have capitalized on the anonymity that cryptocurrency had created.
So how can we protect ourselves? How can we protect those around us? How can we know what to look for to effectively identify, investigate and prosecute cryptocurrency crimes? Simple. Educate yourself on the concept of cryptocurrency and become a skilled professional trained to successfully investigate and mitigate cryptocurrency crimes.
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