Bitcoin’s Security Challenges

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What is the future of Bitcoin, specifically, and crypto-currency in general? Brandt believes we will continue to see a growth of Bitcoin mining tools being added to software. Lozhkin said attacks on Bitcoin pools, exchanges and Bitcoin users will become one of the most high-profile topics of the year, adding:

As for Bitcoin users, in 2014 we expect considerable growth in the number of attacks targeting their wallets. Previously, criminals infected victim computers and went on to use them for mining. However, this method is now far less effective than before while the theft of Bitcoins promises cyber criminals huge profits and complete anonymity.  There is also strong evidence to suggest that in 2014 Bitcoin will collapse and those in possession of the crypto-currency will face financial losses.

Vankempen agreed, stating that with an unregulated, decentralized new currency like this, where each single coin is worth such a significant monetary amount, you can rest assured that bad actors are going to be looking to exploit it in any way possible for their own personal gain.

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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