Security & Fraud

Hackers Cull Nearly $900K In 2018 Crypto Bug Bounties

New data shows that blockchain companies awarded $878,504 in bug bounties to hackers in 2018.

Stats from breach disclosure platform HackerOne showed that with $534,500 handed out, EOS creator Block.one accounts for more than 60 percent of all bounties awarded in 2018. Block.one doled out $534,500, Coinbase handed over $290,381, and TRON gave out $76,200.

The Next Web noted that while Coinbase had the second highest amount in bug bounties, the cryptocurrency exchange has been running a disclosure program since 2014. Block.one launched its own disclosure program at the end of May, and soon after a single hacker took $120,000 in bug bounties from the site in less than a week.

“Nearly 4 percent of all bounties awarded on HackerOne in 2018 were from blockchain and cryptocurrency companies,” said a HackerOne spokesperson.

“The average bounty for all blockchain companies in 2018 was $1490 — that is higher than the Q4 platform average of around $900,” the spokesperson added. “One of the top paid crypto hackers earned 7X the median software engineer salary in their country respectively.”

While one of blockchain’s most promoted attributes has been security, the technology has the power to both prevent and carry out fraud. In fact, a recent report found that regulators are concerned over blockchain’s ability to facilitate money laundering, terrorist financing and other fraudulent transactions.

In addition, China’s chief of Beijing Municipal Bureau of Finance Xuewen Huo recently spoke out about blockchain’s role in initial coin offering (ICO) scams, explaining that the hype surrounding blockchain has led many investors to invest too swiftly in the technology through ICOs. And scammers are at the ready to take advantage.

“Blockchain is a very sophisticated technology. Con artists can take advantage of people’s innocence to scam common investors by picturing a very lucrative future, knowing that only a very few people who have advanced knowledge could understand how blockchain really operates,” Huo stated.

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