According to the estimations released on Thursday from the Anti-Phishing Working Group, about $1.2 billion in cryptocurrencies have been stolen by criminals since the beginning of 2017, as bitcoin gained popularity giving access to more than 1,500 digital tokens putting the unregulated sector in the spotlight. The estimates involved information of unreported theft as well as reported theft and done as a part of the research conducted by the non-profit group.
The chief executive officer of cryptocurrency security firm CipherTrace, Dave Jevans, in an interview said: “The problem at hand that we are dealing with in addition to criminal activities such as money laundering using cryptocurrencies, drug trafficking and now is the theft of the cryptocurrency tokens.” Jevans also happens to be the chairman of APWG.
According to Jevans's estimation, of the $1.2 billion stolen, only about 20 percent or less has been recovered, adding that the hands of global law enforcement agencies are full and they are busy tracking down these criminals. With the new General Data Protection Regulation coming into effect on Friday in European Union, the current investigations of criminal activity being held will likely to take a step back.
Jevans said: “A negative impact will be outcasted on the overall security of the internet by GDPR. Unfortunately, without intention, it will benefit cybercriminals. By restricting access to critical information, the new law will remarkably reduce investigations into cryptocurrency theft, fraud, crypto-jacking, cybercrime, malware, phishing, and ransomware.”
Passed in 2016, GDPR aims to simplify and amalgamate which the companies would need to follow for their data protection and to return the control over personal information to the citizens and residents of EU. With GDPR coming into implementation, most European domain data in the internet’s database of record (WHOIS), will no longer be publicly published after 25th of May. WHOIS contains the details of those who register their domain names for websites. The available information includes names, email addresses, and addresses. The data present in WHOIS acts as the fundamental resource for law enforcement officials and investigators who work to prevent thefts.
Jevans noted that data in WHOIS holds critical value to perform investigations which allow for the recovery of stolen funds, identification of the people involved and provides significant information for law enforcement to arrest the criminals.
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