Security Expert Warns That Cryptocurrency Hacking Will Intensify Next Year

Lee Chen, A10 Networks' CEO, said in an interview today that we could expect the frequency of cyber attacks in the cryptocurrency space "to continue to increase in 2018."

Although blockchain technology is a solid piece of work that would require an incredible amount of computing power to throw into disarray, the same cannot be said about the applications and organizations that help people manage their cryptocurrency funds.

Lee Chen, Founder and CEO of A10 Networks—a company that specializes in cybersecurity—believes that the trend of hacking in the cryptocurrency world will only intensify over the next year.

“I think the digital transformation is the underlying motivation for hackers… So, expect the frequency, the size, the volume of hacks to continue to increase in 2018,” he said during an interview with CNBC today.

He believes that the majority of attacks on cryptocurrency industry providers had financial motivations behind them.

“I think that cryptocurrencies and blockchain are here to stay. As cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin get mainstream, I think that attackers will target Bitcoins as well as the next major target… I think that most of the companies are always ready to invest in cybersecurity, but they are not always fully prepared. It’s like a mouse and cat [ordeal],” he added.

Bitcoin’s growth in value is simply making it more enticing to hackers who want to take advantage of vulnerabilities found in mobile apps and the exchanges themselves.

A recent analysis published by security analysis firm High-Tech Bridge showed us that 90 percent of all crypto applications found in Google Play had some kind of vulnerability that could eventually spell disaster for its users.

Hacking communities are already starting to smell the blood in the water.

Just last week, mining pool NiceHash was hacked, losing $64 million worth of Bitcoin. It has no way of effectively recovering the capital necessary to pay off the miners who have contributed their computing power to the pool.

“It could be a professional, could be an innocent teenager who has nothing to do at home—it can come from anywhere,” said Chen, regarding the type of person who could be behind all of these attacks.