Return of the (Cyber-Space) Cowboy

 In ITC's Threat of the Week

Before we get onto this week’s subject matter, all of us at ITC would like to thank those of you who signed up for, and turned up to, our annual security event on Wednesday. It was very well attended and the feedback very positive.

Special thanks go to our guest speakers who did a terrific job. Ron Moultrie and Sir Graeme Lamb kicked the event off fantastically and were supported by our own tag team of Malcolm Taylor, Gareth Lindahl-Wise and yours truly. They were followed by Dob Todorov from HeleCloud, Hans Allnutt from DAC Beachcroft and David Kemp from Micro Focus.

The panel session at the end was very interactive with some great discussion.

Thank you to all of the speakers. The school kids in attendance really appreciated the time they had with Ron and Sir Graeme and came away inspired. Thank you both.

Now let us get back to this week’s topic – Return of the (Cyber-Space) Cowboy. We have been muttering for some time about the world of Bitcoin being the new lawless Wild West and it seems that just like heists by the likes of ‘The Hole In The Wall Gang’ in the 1880s and 90s were audacious, prolific and noteworthy, heists against the new digital currencies are becoming similar.

So similar in fact that we have seen two attacks in the last week which strayed out of cyberspace and into real life. Perhaps the start of a worrying trend that will require a new generation of Cyber-Space Cowboys, probably with not much in common with the likes of those portrayed by Wayne, Eastwood and Brenner.

In the first incident, it is reported that armed assailants entered the property of a City broker turned Bitcoin trader and forced him to transfer his substantial virtual stash to them there and then before making off. Does this have the whiff of the fish about it? Let us wait and see when collars are felt as they inevitably will be.

In the second incident, armed robbers, who presumably had not read or did not understand the whole Bitcoin thing, entered the premises of Canadian Bitcoins and tried to force the employees to make a massive transfer.

Whatever the legitimacy and truth behind these heists are, not to mention the on-going hacking activity and cyber-robbery, what is sure is that regulation of Bitcoin and virtual currencies in general is inevitable. We have to move out of The Wild West.

These are interesting times, however we are fairly sure that they will not be making movies about crypto-currency robberies and the heroes who bring the perpetrators to justice any time in the future.

If you missed our security conference, much of the material was recorded and will be available for your viewing pleasure presently. In the meantime, if you would like to speak to us about Cyber matters, contact us at: enquiries@itcsecure.com or call 0207 517 3900.

Author: Kevin Whelan

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