Cryptocurrency security: Former Barclays, HSBC ethical hacker to reveal vulnerabilities at SXSW 2019

The claim that virtual currencies are the most secure form of payment is to be disputed by an “ethical” hacker at the film, music and technology festival, South By South West (SXSW) 2019. Rob Pope, the co-founder of Dogtown Media and former security specialist with banking giants like HSBC and Barclays, will reveal how crypto is not as safe as you think it is in an upcoming security demonstration.

According to a press release, Pope plans on explaining how the perceived robust encrypted system underlying cryptocurrencies can be broken into. The security specialist’s presentation is titled, “Crypto Crime: How to Steal Cryptocurrency,” on March 15 at the Austin Texas SXSW 2019.

Pope aims to disprove the myth of the unbreakable security of blockchain technology and will also give a live hacking demonstration to the public on how to steal cryptocurrencies. He also plans on detailing the processes and protocols which users can employ to protect their virtual currencies.

The press release references a report by CNBC which stated that $1.1 billion in cryptocurrency was stolen from users in the first half of 2019 alone. The report detailed theft funneled through the Dark Web, targeting of crypto-exchanges and companies, and targeting new investors.

Citing three important pieces of reference, the Mt.Gox scandal, the NEM hack, and the Yapian bankruptcy, the report detailed the loss of cryptocurrency due to errors of their operators, rather than their product.

Businesses were the second more proliferated target, but the prime contention was the virtual currency asked as ransom, not the attack itself. Criminals hack into a company’s mainframe and demand ransom in the form of cryptocurrencies due to its untraceable and anonymous nature, a point in favor of the decentralized industry not against it.

Hackers look at the most vulnerable piece of the system, and in the case of cryptocurrencies, it is the operator, the intermediary or the network, not the coin itself. On the basis of this strategy, individual and group errors are pounced upon to gain access to cryptocurrencies with rare instances of hacking into the very essence of the virtual currency.

Given the cited information in the press release, it can be presumed that the seminar by Pope will delve more into the inadequacies of the users of cryptocurrencies rather than the digital asset itself. Regardless, the seminar is expected to shed light on the method by which cryptocurrency crimes can be prevented and users can keep their digital funds safe.

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