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Last Updated : Aug 22, 2019 10:02 PM IST | Source:

Blockchain becomes favourite tool of cyber thieves: Report

Blockchain was to herald a new era in cyber-security but it has come with its own challenges.

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The advent of blockchain was supposed to herald a new age in cybersecurity, with the technology offering a superior way to create immutable records. But if a report on cybercrime is anything to go, blockchain has become the favourite tool of criminals.

The report, titled Innovation-led Cybercrime Management put out by Ernst & Young and the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry, says cybercriminals are using blockchain-based operations to carry out illegal transactions making it harder for law enforcement authorities (LEA) to nab them.

“With the number of connected devices predicted to increase by 26 billion during 2019, there is an increase in the use of a blockchain-based domain name system (DNS) to host sites that sell illegal services and other sensitive data,” it said.


The report further elaborated that unlike normal DNS, blockchain-based DNS has no oversight which makes it even harder for law enforcement to investigate. “The popularity and use of blockchain among cybercriminals are growing and are likely to improve cybersecurity of their infrastructure and secure their illegal operations,” the report said.

“Cyber criminals, being extremely adaptive and imaginative, use a concoction of old and newer techniques to stay alive and avoid being caught,” the report adds.

This is not all though. Criminals are also looking at exploiting technological advances such as robotic process automation (RPA) for cybercrimes.

RPAs are something typically adopted by enterprises to automate redundant process such as processing insurance claims, travel reimbursements, payroll process and invoice processing.

“The usage of robotic process information robot gives access to the confidential information that can be leaked,” it said.

This means that the leak can provide criminals the authority to hijack RPA to misuse the system or its data that may contain crucial information about the company.

“If a robot is compromised by a cyberattack, confidential information which the robot had access to also gets compromised,” it added.

What can be done?

India needs to develop a strong cybercrime management ecosystem with concerted effort from law enforcement agencies, academia and industry, said Vidur Gupta, Partner – Cyber Security, EY India.

“Only such a concerted effort can tackle the myriad cybercrime threats that we face as a society, and can thereby, provide assurance and trust to India’s economy,” Gupta said in the report.

“The need of the hour is to envision a national roadmap on cybercrime management and further strengthening current institutions such as Ministry of Home Affairs, National Crime Record Bureau, Central Bureau of Investigation and state police functions with additional manpower and budgets,” Gupta added.

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First Published on Aug 22, 2019 10:02 pm
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