With more people logging into digital wallets and currencies for payments and investment solution globally, hackers are steadily targeting the system through organised cyber crime. In a report published in the Nikkei Asian Review, in the first six months of 2017 Japan saw a record rise in crime involving digital money and investment scams, with losses amounting to ¥333 million yen ($3.05 million).

The National Police Agency of Japan received total 69,977 reports of cyber crimes in the January-June period, up 4.9% from a year earlier, which is highest since data started being recorded. Losses in digital currency was reported at ¥ 59.2 million ($542,000) -13 cases involving Bitcoin, 11 cases involving Ripple and 2 cases involving Ethereum .

There were 36,729 cases of internet scams, which is more than half of the total reported cases. Unauthorised computer access and virus attacks have also surged 50 percent from a year earlier, to 6,848 cases. And reports have also surfaced of devices being targeted through IOT technology.

Active surveillance by the National Police Agency has been at least partially successful in stemming such crimes. It detected an average of 2,008 hacks per day, a decline from the record high of 2259 in the second half of 2016. There were 214 cases of illegal money transfers using internet banking, a drop from 645 cases the year before. The total value of the financial losses also declined 40 percent from ¥564 million ($5.18 million). Effective management of passwords and regular security updates on personal devices can help to prevent hacking.

Finance Magnates has been regularly reporting incidences of cyber crime and investment fraud reported by different market watchdogs around the world. Earlier in July, we reported an investment fraud via ASIC.

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