Visualizing The Rising Problem Of Crypto Theft (And How To Protect Yourself)

Part of the appeal of cryptocurrency is that it exists “outside” of the system.

Using complex cryptography and decentralized ledgers, Visual Capitalist's Jeff Desjardins explains, a blockchain can operate independently from the world’s most powerful countries, corporations, and banking institutions.

While this detachment from authority is extremely powerful, existing almost exclusively in the digital realm does have its drawbacks.


Today’s infographic from CryptoGo shows that as cryptocurrencies rise in prominence, so does its appeal to hackers, criminals, and other bad actors.

With millions of dollars being stolen via crypto theft, investors and other dabblers in cryptocurrency must take precautions to protect their assets for the long haul.

Courtesy of: Visual Capitalist

Crypto theft comes in many different forms, and at least $225 million of cryptocurrency has been stolen as of mid-2017.

There are various forms of crypto theft that have made this possible, including brute forcing, phishing, phone-porting, mining malware, and Ponzi schemes.


Here are the most prominent forms of crypto theft:

Brute Forcing

This is the form of hacking that most are familiar with. It involves automated software that simply tries different passwords until one works.


Using your phone number and a little “social engineering”, a hacker can convince a customer service rep that they are actually you. This allows them to reset your password and access your funds.


In this case, a hacker will send you suspicious links through email or social media messages. By clicking on one of those links, malware is installed.

Ponzi Schemes

Multi-level marketing schemes that provide signing bonuses. These eventually collapse when prices change or signups stop. Once over, the thieves takes the money and run.

Mining Malware

Hackers hijack a computer’s power to mine cryptocurrency remotely.

Protecting Yourself

Crypto theft can be prevented by taking appropriate precautionary measures.

These include using encrypted backups to hold private keys and other data, using proper anti-virus software for crypto, and opting for multi-factor authentication.

Further, other general measures can also be taken to protect assets, such as holding only small amounts of cryptocurrency in hot wallets, using safety deposit boxes to store USB and private paper keys, turning off SMS authentication and email recovery options, and diversifying holdings through various exchanges.


lookslikecraptome 38BWD22 Sat, 03/24/2018 - 11:33 Permalink

do wash traders and spoofers make u secure and the fact that one MT GOX trustee crashed the market from 19 to 9. PSST, I gots me some coin laddies. be polite. I am realisitc in what I expect from it. It will not change the world.and it will not dethrone banks. As far as a store of value/ How is that dude that sold his house in December for BTC doing. ???? I believe he is now secure in his suicidal ideation. 

In 30 years of trading the SP and the minis, I never worried once if the exchange was gonna screw me, except for getting lower fees for trading. The results and confirmations are instantaneous, From Taiwan to Podunk in Iowa. Your computer goes down you have a number to call and say" Get me flat NOW!!"  In trading BTC, that is OBVIOUSLY not the case. 

People are constantly trying to hack the banks, the exchanges, and any other links in the trading systems. The only hacks u truly hear about are the ones in cryptoland. 

In reply to by 38BWD22

Pikachu Assassino lester1 Sat, 03/24/2018 - 13:47 Permalink

This scheme can be ponzi, but as long as it does not explode, you can get rich. Just identify the pattern. Every two months you triple your money, take out 2/3, and continue with the first third. When (if) the bubble burst, you will not have lost. As you keep repeating your story, some continue to increase their income.

"Prudence is a rich ugly old maid courted by incapacity"

In reply to by lester1

sessinpo Yellow_Snow Sat, 03/24/2018 - 01:49 Permalink

Yellow_Snow Fri, 03/23/2018 

Interesting, but the Ponzi Schemes are way more than $4,000...  Bitconnect alone was hundreds of millions of dollars


Those that put money in bitconnect were fools that did no due diligence.

Over 90% of the couns traded only on an exchange owned by bitconnect.

The business model paid a too good to be true interest rate by lending to people that were not disclosed and a trading bot that they provided no disclisure on. Scam all the way.

It only effected those that bought into it and at one point, its value was a supposed +$ 2 billion.

In reply to by Yellow_Snow

joego1 Fri, 03/23/2018 - 23:15 Permalink

The easiest way  to avoid being scammed is not to buy crypto in the first place. How long do you think most of these crypto currencies will be around anyway?

Captain Nemo d… Fri, 03/23/2018 - 23:22 Permalink

Here's how you visualize the rising theft of crypto-currency:

1. Close your eyes and try to sit cross-legged (can be uncomfortable so if you cannot, sit on a chair).

2. Imagine a virtual coin

3. Imagine a thief stealing it. Now imagine two coins and two thieves stealing the coins.

Keep it realistic. Do not imagine something bizarre like people giving you actual stuff in return for the coins. That happens only in real life.

Yen Cross Fri, 03/23/2018 - 23:23 Permalink

   It's all about block chain technology.

  Cryptocoins are just a distraction.

   You can bet your sweet asses, the shut down switch is analog.

     Is there a Crypto fag-lesbian pension fund?

  I'd like to short it<

Wild E Coyote Fri, 03/23/2018 - 23:38 Permalink

It is the same old BS. 

When plastic CDs came up that's what the experts said, Indestructible. Only to see the data disappear for which they suggested we use cleaning liquid. 

They peddled the indestructible bitcoins only to now tell us, it can be stolen and we need to take precaution. 

I will stick to my Gold, goat farm and plantation. 

snblitz Fri, 03/23/2018 - 23:51 Permalink

How about inventing a method of exchange which isn't totally insecure?

Maybe we could invent a little plastic card and call it a "VISA card."

Or how about a thing called a bank.

How about a method of exchange that include redress?

I mean really is it that hard?  Systems with those features have existed for thousands of years.

And some of the modern ones can manage more than 7.5 transactions per second **and** believe it or not they can clear a transaction in less than 60 minutes!

38BWD22 Yen Cross Sat, 03/24/2018 - 00:15 Permalink


The transactions for the most part are quite secure.

People lose their BTC by keeping them on exchanges or by screwing up (making careless mistakes, falling for scams, etc.).

Secure storage and extreme caution in using cryptos will keep you almost 100% secure.

P2P exchanges are coming, though tmosley would know more about that than I would.

In reply to by Yen Cross

Nuclear Winter FreedomWriter Sat, 03/24/2018 - 08:26 Permalink

Let's see. I attended the Dallas blockchain conference in mid February, and there was John Boy, a paranoid delusional, booted from his most recent gig as CEO of MGT capital (because they realized he can't lead a firm), smoking pot with some of the attendees. And he's going to lead the way with a secure crypto service? No fucking way.

He's busy taking money from new ICO startups, who are dumber than rock salt to give him money to advise or be an advisor.

In reply to by FreedomWriter

sessinpo Yen Cross Sat, 03/24/2018 - 01:58 Permalink

Yen Cross 38BWD22 Sat, 03/24/2018 

Why do you need secure storage if the transactions are secure?

Why do you need a medium of exchange if the exchange is capable of P2p?

 Fucking retarded Fatherless[ZIRP]  Millennials


Surely you jest.if not, why do you need secure storage of anything of value. And BTW, it is the private key that is securely stored but I'm sure you know that. Secured just as you secure your passwords or other things you value.

You really need to educate yourself. Central exchanges (not medium of exchange) are the current form of exchange between different coins. In development is decentralized exchanges and atomic swaps which would be through the network.

Talk about being retarded.

In reply to by Yen Cross

sessinpo Yen Cross Sat, 03/24/2018 - 02:15 Permalink

Yen Cross Sat, 03/24/2018 

  Cryptofags, why do I make money trading FX?

  Down votes are welcome.

  The moar you deny, the moar I profit, ZIRP tard babies


You make money trading forex because other people see value in the instruments being bet on. 

Spend more time educating yourself instead of insulting others. You down vote yourself and make yourself irrelevant to the discussion.

In reply to by Yen Cross

HRClinton Sat, 03/24/2018 - 00:16 Permalink

Further, other general measures can also be taken to protect assets, such as...

1. holding only small amounts of cryptocurrency in hot wallets. CHECK.

2. using safety deposit boxes to store USB and private paper keys. CHECK.

3. turning off SMS authentication and email recovery options. CHECK.

4. diversifying holdings through various exchanges. CHECK.

No Security + Privacy is complete, w/o doing the meaningful trades on an offshore P2P exchange. Alternatively, trade face-to-face in a safe physical environment, like I do. There are tens of thousands office space places, where this can occur. At home or abroad.

E.g. on a trip to EU, I traded CC for hard AU -- in a law office. It's all legal: people trading personal assets of equal value. Whatever the "price" of assets is to an external Reference (fiat) is important, but not binding to the parties haggling on the deal. My trades got me such a nice stack of Shiny, that I used (most) of it to buy a very nice condo in .ch, and stored the rest of the Shiny in a safe, dry place near Lake Constance.

Notice that: this occured on foreign soil, did not involve fiats, financial instruments or foreign (FATCA-pegged) accounts. Not illegal, immoral or fattening.

For the haters, lester1 and moldtimers: Riddle me how any 3rd party (hacker or spook inc) is going to monitor that meeting and lawful transaction. Yeah, just FOAD, you useless FUD-spreaders!