Bitcoin’s Security Challenges

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The Bitcoin (BTC) wallet is a commonly targeted threat vector in the Bitcoin market, said Mark Vankempen, senior advanced R&D engineer at LogRhythm, adding:

A BTC wallet is like a real wallet filled with cash. You should never keep all your eggs in one basket and the BTC wallet is no different from this age old idiom. So far there is no air tight solution to keeping your BTC safe and secured.

According to Vankempen, one of the most notable BTC losses is the Bitomat.pl Loss. During a routine maintenance restart, the server that hosted their Bitcoin wallet was unknowingly configured to be irretrievable upon shutdown. This resulted in the loss of 17,000 BTC (about 14.5 Million USD at today’s value). This unfortunate disaster could have been easily prevented. He added:

I’ve put together the following action items that can help protect your BTC investment: Backup and encrypt your wallet, make multiple copies of your backup, store them in more than one secure location and finally, don’t keep all your BTCs in one wallet.

The crypto-currency known as Bitcoin was first introduced in 2009 in a paper published by Satoshi Nakamoto. As Kaspersky Lab described the e-currency:

Named "Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System," the paper defined the foundations for a distributed, de-centralized financial payment system, with no transaction fees. The Bitcoin system was implemented and people started using it. What kind of people? In the beginning, they were mostly hobbyists and mathematicians. Soon, they were joined by others – mostly ordinary people, but also cyber criminals and terrorists.

Since the introduction of Bitcoins in 2009, they have received a lot of attention: some of it good, some of it bad. Just like any other crypto-currency, they’ve been associated with numerous scams, hacks/thefts, defunct "stock exchanges," and reported losses of wallets containing massive amounts.

Kaspersky Lab’s experts explained that Bitcoin really began to hit its stride in 2013, in part because they are a secure, anonymous, way of paying for law-abiding citizens, especially for those who want to fly underneath the NSA’s surveillance radar.

Bitcoin as a currency, itself, seems to function as-advertised, according to Andrew Brandt, director of threat research at Blue Coat. The math surrounding the creation and transmission of value through the currency exchange network is scientifically sound.

As global commerce will only increase, e-currency in general, and in particular Bitcoin, could play a major role in how consumers and enterprises alike pay for goods and services. But first, it has to solve its security issues.

 

Related Topics : Unisys, Stimulus Package, Security Breaches, Symantec, Electronic Surveillance

 
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