Theft in the cryptocurrency environment

Theft in the cryptocurrency environment

We usually associate the cryptocurrency environment with advanced security measures to secure financial resources. There are even companies that offer cryptocurrency holders advanced methods of securing their wealth through military technology. Nevertheless, the problem of theft is not a foreign topic in the cryptocurrency community.

The graph above shows the size of cryptocurrency theft over a period of 3 years. Different colors indicate different cases of cryptocurrency theft, while the black line shows the number of recorded incidents.

Almost all cases of cryptocurrency theft fall into one of the three theft categories. The categories mentioned are: Exchange attacks, attacks on individuals, DeFi exploits.

Exchange attacks

At this point, thieves have stolen billions of dollars worth of cryptocurrency by attacking exchange wallets. Many companies, including such large and respected companies as Bitpoint, Binance, DragonEx, have been the subject of keen interest from hackers. The question arises as to how hackers managed to break through such advanced security. One of the most common methods used by hackers is social engineering. A hacker typically tries to trick employees of a particular cryptocurrency security company’s customers into downloading special malware that will give them access to one or more accounts. If the attacker is sufficiently determined, he will wait for months or even longer, observing patterns of money inflows and outflows so that he can sense the right moment to steal as much money as possible. What does this look like in practice?  In one particularly audacious case, hackers set up a fake company, complete with website, social media presence and executive resumes.  On the fake website, the hackers posted that they had created an automated trading bot and sent out several messages to employees of the companies/exchanges asking them to download and try a free trial version. At least one of the recipients was tempted by the offer. As it later turned out, the “free trial” included malware that helped hackers obtain the keys to private cryptocurrency wallets of several users. Immediately after gaining access to these accounts, the hackers began siphoning funds from these wallets. Hacking activity is a major threat for exchanges.


Illicit Actors and Organizations in the aspect of cryptocurrency market

Illegal organisations, or other illegal cryptocurrency entities, are groups transacting with cryptocurrency whose activities do not necessarily rise to the level of criminality, but are nevertheless considered risky due to activities balancing on the edge of legality or reputational risk. One example of such entities are implicitly sex-related sites such as RubRatings. The site in question allows massage therapists to publish advertisements encouraging clients to use their sexual services and includes Bitcoin as a payment option. While services offered by the said website are as a rule legal, the RubRatings website implies the availability of sexual services and the site itself is listed as a human trafficking intermediary, therefore the RubRatings organisation, can be categorised as illegal.

Domestic Extremism and Racial Hatred

Another example relates to the organisations and public figures associated with domestic extremism and racial hatred. Many of these organisations accept donations in the form of cryptocurrencies, and it can be expected that more will follow, as with the current interest in cryptocurrencies, organisations will continue to move away from conventional payment. Examples confirming this trend are publications such as the Daily Stormer, as well as the work of public figures such as Nick Fuentes. Extremist rhetoric itself is generally not illegal in most jurisdictions, but many of these groups have been linked to incidents involving outright violence. Examples of such incidents include: The 2017 Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia or the 2021 riot in front of the US Capitol. In the latter case, Chainalysis found that several people with alt-right views, including some associated with the rally immediately preceding the riot, had received large donations in bitcoin one month earlier.

Who are Shadow Brokers?


Online interrogation of a foreign witness by a Polish court in a commercial court case – practical bullet points on the example of a specific witness summons.

Online interrogation of a foreign witness by a Polish court in a commercial court case – practical bullet points on the example of a specific witness summons.

The changes in the functioning of the justice system caused by the COVID-19 have been ongoing since the first quarter of 2020. The first of them were introduced in the Polish legal system at the beginning of March 2020, and to date these regulations have already been amended several times. The changes mainly concern court proceedings, the way in which cases are dealt with, as well as the issue of questioning witnesses. The present article will focus on the latter issue, in order to explain in detail how a witness is summoned and examined by a Polish court.

In accordance with article 15 zzs1 of the Polish Act of March 2, 2020 on special solutions related to the prevention, counteraction and combating of COVID-19, other infectious diseases and crisis situations caused by them (hereinafter as the “Act”):



What are merchant services?

What are merchant services?

Plural form of this phrase suggests that there is a set of various services, actions that provide a financial (payment to be more precise) services to the merchant. Merchant services are situated between the merchant and the costumer during the commercial transaction, because the money should move through the merchant services provider’s system. Merchant services are provided via credit cards, debit cards, electronic payments methods. Typically the banks, credit card companies or other businesses are providers of such services.

In the cryptocurrency sector merchant services encompass cryptocurrency payment services.

How merchant services work?

Merchant services receives cryptocurrency payment from a customer on behalf of the merchant. A merchant will receive funds via immediate settlement to their bank account, or may choose to settle in cryptocurrency.

Cryptocurrency can now be accepted online and in person, for online transactions you will require a payment gateway which will accept cryptocurrency. The most common way is through bitcoin online payments; however, solutions are available for most mainstream providers.

What is a merchant services provider?


Global trends of IT methods created by private providers of counteracting cyber-attacks (like Identity orchestration) – Change of Polish cybersecurity law important for foreign suppliers of IT equipment to the public sector and public utility institutions in Poland due to global threats

Identification of the hacking problem – study on the example of law firm clients providing cyber security solutions

Identification of the hacking problem

Based on the US Cybersecurity Trends Report (link to an online source at the end of the article), the hacking phenomenon records an increase in cyber-attacks in 2019 and 2020. From the legal perspective, what is particularly interesting is a significant increase in the recorded data loss events as a result of hacking activities in relation to the number of cases in individual years in the 2015-2020 prediction. One of the studies in the indicated report shows two specific moments over the years. The first one took place in 2016-2017, where we see an increase in hacker attacks by nearly 2,000 violations, but this is not related to a proportional increase in lost data, which differs from those from 2016 by about 1.5 million. In 2017, there was a slight increase in infringements, but more importantly, less data was lost. The second of these important moments indicated by the experts took place in 2018-2019, when there was a drastic increase in lost data with a slight increase in violations compared to 2018. We are seeing a drastic decrease in the number of breaches with a simultaneous huge increase in lost data.

From the analysis of the report, a surprising conclusion can be drawn that currently data breaches by hackers are less and less frequent compared to previous years, but much more effective.

The report also shows annual global cybersecurity transactions and equity financing in 2016-2021. In this respect there can be observed the huge projected increase in cash outlays for the cybersecurity target compared to 2020. The projected increase is over $ 10 billion. Despite the increase in spending, there has been a decline in the number of cybersecurity contracts.

The report presents the share of global cybersecurity transactions in 2020 by country. The first thing that throws up is that the US has over a half of shares in global market and is thus becoming a sort of hegemon in the fight against hackers. China ranks second with 12%. On the other hand, Israel ranks third with a 10% share, also showing a 4% increase compared to 2019. With the same trend, it has a good chance of overtaking China in this respect. The report shows the number of annual departures from the cybersecurity sector through mergers and acquisitions and stock market debuts. In the years 2016-2019, an upward trend can be noticed. From year to year, the number of departures increased by 100.

The report also shows the ratio of the increase in the number of the so-called megarounds (contracts worth over $100 million), which results in an increase in the volume of transactions.

All these increases in value did not go unnoticed. The consequence of the development of this type of industry, which is cybersecurity, is the creation and development of private companies. There are already over 30 companies in the world involved in the development of cybersecurity technologies, the value of which exceeds $ 1 billion. In Europe, for example, Acronis is such a company.

Almost 75% of cyber defenders are based in the United States, most of them in California. Second place, with almost 20% concentration of cyber defenders, is Israel. Canada and Ireland boast one “cyber defender” within their borders. In Canada it is the company “Isara”, and in Ireland “Tines”.

Methods of counteracting cyber attacks

There can be differentiated various methods of counteracting cyber-attacks. Most innovative ones are presented below: