Account takeover attacks spike as fraudsters take aim at fintech and crypto

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The number of digital accounts stolen has gone through the roof recently, with cryptocurrency holders being a high priority target for the threat actors. 

According to a new report from fraud prevention experts Sift, the number of successful account takeover attacks increased by 113% in the first half of this year, compared to the same period in the year before. 

Furthermore, there’s been a 79% increase in takeover attacks on cryptocurrency accounts. Sift bases these findings on a survey of more than 1,000 consumers, as well as its global network of more than 34,000 sites and apps.

The crypto market

According to Sift, cryptocurrency account holders are of particular interest to criminals at the moment due to the deep winter the market is currently in. Bitcoin is currently trading at around $16,500, down significantly from the $69,000 it held in November last year. In fact, since last year, the price of bitcoin has only gone down. 

That, Sift’s researchers claim, has made holders check their accounts and portfolios a lot less frequently than they used to, making them ideal targets for takeover attacks.

Once they assume control of an account, they team up with other criminals to siphon the funds while remaining undetected, the report explains.

The report highlights the importance of having strong passwords and additional security measures. A strong password has both lowercase and uppercase letters, numbers, as well as symbols, and is at least eight characters long. Strong passwords are not written on a piece of paper, stored on an unprotected cloud service, or shared with friends and family. Instead, they are stored using password management tools

Furthermore, having multi-factor authentication set up is also a must these days, commonly via SMS or a token to verify a user's identity (opens in new tab). For optimal security, however, passwords should be avoided altogether - instead other methods such as biometric keys should be used where possible to secure your accounts and data. Slowly but surely these are gaining major popularity among businesses and private individuals. 

Via: VentureBeat (opens in new tab)

Sead Fadilpašić

Sead is a seasoned freelance journalist based in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina. He writes about IT (cloud, IoT, 5G, VPN) and cybersecurity (ransomware, data breaches, laws and regulations). In his career, spanning more than a decade, he’s written for numerous media outlets, including Al Jazeera Balkans. He’s also held several modules on content writing for Represent Communications.