In today’s rapidly advancing world of blockchain innovation, it’s no secret that cryptocurrency wallets, exchanges and enterprise platforms are targets for nefarious activity. Underscoring this threat are three notable hacks and accompanying losses for investors in recent history: Mt. Gox (650,000 BTC lost), Bitfinex (120,000 BTC lost) and DAO Ethereum ($50 million lost).
At the epicenter of efforts to thwart the proliferation of these intrusions is BlockSafe Technologies. A U.S. company with headquarters in Edison, New Jersey, BlockSafe is a subsidiary company of StrikeForce Technologies, Inc., a leading cybersecurity solutions provider for corporations, government agencies and consumers that has been in business over 18 years.
According to BlockSafe, most hacks involve wallets compromised by malware, where keyloggers are used to obtain secret codes and clipboard information is used to redirect destination addresses. Once a wallet has been hacked, getting money returned or even the prospect of legal recourse has always proven next to impossible.
BlockSafe employs a multipronged approach that locks down the decentralized ecosystem along the three primary exposure points of wallets, exchanges and private blockchains. Through a comprehensive set of solutions, BlockSafe provides a stable approach for today’s topsy-turvy blockchain ecosystem at its two highest on-ramps of vulnerability: user authentication and interaction.
1. Wallet Security
BlockSafe’s CryptoDefender product includes two versions, one for desktop and one for mobile, to ensure device protection. It accomplishes this by proactively mitigating keylogging malware, which is often the source of crypto wallet credential theft. Available on both Android and iOS devices, it also includes a password vault, secure browser, two-factor authentication and strong password generator.
2. Exchange Security
BlockSafe’s ExchangeDefender consists of two product features — CryptoDefender, as well as ProtectID, which protects the computers and mobile devices involved in the exchange.
3. Blockchain Security
BlockSafe’s BlockchainDefender serves as an interchange between applications and private blockchains. Data fields are scanned for malware, and transactions are authenticated via ProtectID.
According to BlockSafe CEO George Waller, $9 million is stolen from crypto wallets every day.
“They are an easy target for hackers,” he said. “When money is stolen from a user’s wallet, it’s gone. There is no one to call because there’s no one regulating it.”
Because of the skyrocketing growth of blockchains and cryptocurrencies, Waller said that the team at BlockSafe began looking at vulnerabilities across the ecosystem. It was here where they began to realize that three areas (wallets, exchanges and blockchains) all have major vulnerabilities.
“That’s what led us to open up and dedicate a company exclusively to the security concerns facing crypto wallets, exchanges and private blockchains,” Waller said. “We’re dedicated 100 percent to just protecting this ecosystem.”
He also noted that if you look at the non-crypto world in the last seven years, over 90 percent of attacks throughout the world are malware and spyware related.
“Thieves just don’t decide they want to be in a network and get in,” he said. “Rather, they have to use brute force and steal credentials and stuff like that.”
This, said Waller, is where malware comes in.
“They use it to steal your credentials and to log themselves in,” he explained. “About 95 percent of the time with that malware, a keylogger was at least one of the components used to facilitate the breach —what we call a ‘malware cocktail.’ So, as cryptocurrency started to grow quickly over the past few years, the hackers started turning their attention to using this same malware with other components, to steal from user wallets and their phones.”
The good news, according to Waller, is that BlockSafe Technologies’ parent company, StrikeForce Technologies, has dedicated the past 18 years to helping people protect what they do.
“We live, eat and breathe cyber,” Waller said. “That is all we do; we do cyber and nothing else.”
Dean Anastos, founder and CEO of blockchaindevelopers.org, a company specializing in token creation, smart contracts and crowdsale services on the Ethereum blockchain, is adding his own expertise to the efforts of BlockSafe Technologies.
“We have been assisting George and his group over the past year or so in getting his
STO [security token offering] project off the ground,” Anastos said. “They have a very interesting technology that seeks to basically protect individuals from getting their crypto stolen. It is a genius idea, and they have a patent on it.”
With help from blockchaindevelopers.org, BlockSafe is conducting a security token offering and creating a revenue-generation token.
“Right now, what we are very concerned about from the perspective of crypto is minimizing the barriers of mass adoption into this industry,” Waller said. “Because if malware really starts to reap the benefits of what malware does, it is going to prevent mass adoption. We see the value of blockchain technology, but we also know from 18 years of experience how hackers steal. So, we want to protect the wallets, protect the exchanges and protect private blockchains. That’s where we are laser-focused at the moment.”
Note: Trading and investing in digital assets is speculative and can be high risk. Based on the shifting business and regulatory environment of such a new industry, this content should not be considered investment or legal advice.