The meteoric rise of bitcoin saw the value of one single bitcoin reached more than USD $19,000 by the middle of December 2017. However, it has since fallen to less than USD $7,000 though it has recently recovered some ground over the past week.
According to sources, there are more than 1,500 cryptocurrencies out there including some with peculiar names like Dogecoin, Californium and PinkDog. However, cryptocurrencies are now rife with criminal activity.
This is due to cryptocurrency being the preferred form of payment when hackers corrupt your computer for ransom, like in last year’s widespread WannaCry attack.
Moreover, there are numerous viruses which can turn computers into “slaves” for mining cryptocurrency. In addition, hackers have also created malware which disguises as cryptocurrency apps, by tricking people into thinking that they are cashing in on the trend.
The application and theatre intelligence director at the Ixia security firm, Steve McGregory, has stated that “ its usually being used for something illegal”. He also estimates that about 99% of illegal activities that happen online use cryptocurrency.