Q & A with Etay Maor, fraud prevention manager at Trusteer, an IBM Company
Please explain briefly what e-currencies are?
Digital currencies are a medium of exchange, just like money, stored in a digital format. There are numerous forms of digital currencies, some – like Bitcoin being crypto currencies, which have different value per 1 unit.
What are the dangers of investing in such companies?
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We have to keep in mind that an individual invests in the currency, not in a company (i.e. I can buy Bitcoins without using it for Silk Road related purchases). There are several things to keep in mind before obtaining digital currencies:
1. Volatility – digital currencies tend to fluctuate depending on different events (just like stocks, gold prices and oil prices do)
2. Online security – digital currencies need to be stored in e-wallets. These wallets are essentially software or sites that store the currency. If your user name and password are stolen (or guessed because you used an easy to guess password) the money will be stolen
3. Stability – as we have already witnessed governments may outlaw the use of a currency. This may both affect the currency’s value as well as render the currency almost useless to some users. Another thing to keep in mind is that if an online wallet site is down (even just temporarily due to technical issues or a DDoS attack) – the money is unreachable.
How are cybercriminals targeting the users of e-currencies?
Simple, just as they target online banking and ecommerce sites. Cybercriminals have already spread malware that steals the user and password once a victim access his/her online digital currency account. Once the cybercriminal obtains this data he can easily empty the account without leaving a trace.
What services does Trusteer offer to prevent fraud when using an e-currency?
Trusteer offers products that can secure the user’s computer, making sure that financial malware does not infect and reside on the system. In addition – Trusteer offers products that help websites identify malware infected devices that are accessing the site as well as criminal activities and devices