Visa, one of many world’s main fee suppliers, has launched its biannual risk report, revealing that 2022 noticed a record-breaking variety of cryptocurrency thefts, with over $3 billion stolen in on-chain exploits. The report covers all forms of digital fee system violations worldwide, together with plastic card fraud schemes and malware, however has a separate part devoted to cryptocurrency and digital platforms.
The report identifies token bridges as a standard goal for risk actors. These bridges allow the trade of cryptocurrencies between totally different blockchain networks, however fraudsters usually exploit sensible contracts throughout the bridge service to both create new transactions or enable for unauthorized transactions to be accredited. Between January and early October 2022, a complete of $2 billion was stolen by way of token bridges.
Visa’s report additionally highlights a cryptocurrency-focused phishing marketing campaign that focused crypto exchanges. The attackers impersonated a crypto trade in emails to gather the sufferer’s account login knowledge. When the precise trade prompted the risk actor for two-factor authentication (2FA), the attacker used the spoofed website to acquire the sufferer’s 2FA info, permitting them to finish the login course of utilizing the real 2FA from the spoofed website.
In February, it was reported that Visa and Mastercard would delay the launch of latest partnerships with crypto companies on account of high-profile bankruptcies within the trade. Nevertheless, Cuy Sheffield, Visa’s head of product, refuted the claims, stating that Visa would proceed to companion with crypto firms to boost fiat on and off-ramps and create new merchandise to facilitate stablecoin funds.
Regardless of the delay, the cryptocurrency market has continued to develop, with Bitcoin’s market capitalization surpassing Visa’s for the third time in historical past on February 20. By March 14, the hole between the 2 had grown to over $20 billion in favor of Bitcoin.
Cryptocurrency thefts have been a recurring drawback within the trade, with exchanges and customers usually focused by hackers. In 2019, the notorious hack of Japan-based trade Coincheck resulted within the lack of over $500 million price of cryptocurrency. Equally, the 2021 Colonial Pipeline ransomware assault concerned a requirement for fee in Bitcoin.
Visa’s report highlights the significance of securing token bridges and exchanges, in addition to the necessity for continued efforts to boost safety measures within the cryptocurrency trade.