Ransomware cyber attacks can prove fatal to Bitcoin users

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Almost the whole world witnessed a digital crisis on May 12th, 2017 when hackers launched Wannacry Ransomware cyber attack on more than 200,000 computers operating across 174 countries.

Media reports indicated that most of the victims of this ransomware were the ones who were using the dead and extinct Windows XP and those using unpatched Windows 7 and other old versions of Microsoft software.

And FYI, the ransomware attack not only helped the hackers in making money but proved as a reason to cheer for bitcoin currency traders.

For example, in April this year, the currency value of each bitcoin was $1500 USD. But after the attack and that too just within a week, the rate of each bitcoin surged to $2500 USD.

This was due to an imbalance between the availability and demand for bitcoins. Reason- After the attack, many companies across the world started to show interest in buying digital currency in order to free their systems from the dreaded WannaCry ransomware by paying the ransom to hackers in crypto in order to get a decryption key.

Now, let’s come to the topic which we i.e Cybersecurity Insiders want to highlight.

Following the recent WannaCry attack, security experts warn all digital currency users to be more vigilant while transacting with the crypto.

Dr. Zuriati Ahmad Zukarnain, the Network Security Expert Associate Professor from University of Putra Malaysia’s Communication Technology and Networking Department says that hackers are now technically capable of hacking Bitcoin wallets.

Yes, Dr. Ahmad claims that hackers are using highly capable quantum computers to steal the virtual currency stored in digital format on the web, physical, mobile e-wallets.

As per the theory produced by Dr. Ahmad and available to us, bitcoins operate on two key type’s i.e. public and private key which help users in making transactions. Dr. Ahmad claims that her research proved that hackers can use high-end supercomputers to create a large factorization to detect the public and private key used in Bitcoins transactions.

Once detected the private key can be used by cyber crooks to make transactions using a hacked account. That’s because ‘private key’ acts as an entitlement of ownership of a bitcoin address.

Dr. Ahmad says that once a hacker gets hold of the private key then they could use the key to access the value of bitcoin in a hacked e-wallet.

So, what’s the solution?

Dr. Zuriati’s says that her studies have found a solution to this menace where hackers can get hold of a bitcoin user’s key to make fraudulent transactions. She said that bitcoin transaction safety can be ensured when each account’s blockchain is coupled with Quantum Key Distribution (QKD) and “Post Quantum Cryptography”. By doing so, a peer network architecture which is fully secure can be achieved by preventing the private key from getting stolen by third parties.

Dr. Zuriati Ahmad Zukarnain will publish a white paper soon and we promise you to update you on the latest as soon as the details are available to us.

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Naveen Goud is a writer at Cybersecurity Insiders covering topics such as Mergers & Acquisitions, Startups, Cyber Attacks, Cloud Security and Mobile Security

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