Approximately 261,000 Atlas Quantum accounts were compromised following a security breach that occurred at the Brazil-based cryptocurrency investment platform.
The company announced on Sunday that the breach resulted in the theft of customer details in the hundreds of thousands, though no reports of stolen or missing Bitcoin had been received at the time.
Atlas Quantum is a cryptocurrency trading platform that lets users buy and sell Bitcoin, and most of them profit off of the fluctuating nature of the digital currency.
Even though the theft didn’t directly cause users to lose their Bitcoin balances, security researchers unanimously agree that things could take a turn for the worse very quickly.
The breach first came to the attention of many when the website HaveIBeenPwned.com posted details on the data that was stolen from the cryptocurrency trading platform.
Apart from email addresses and account balances, the hackers managed to lift phone numbers as well. HaveIBeenPwned revealed this news through a tweet posted on Sunday.
It is believed that the entire user base of Atlas Quantum’s trading platform was afflicted, and this doesn’t bode well for the company’s reputation.
Atlas Quantum CEO Rodrigo Marques was quick to the company’s defense, saying in the announcement that no Bitcoin was stolen in the breach. Although possibly the entire user base was compromised, Marques was confident that they took enough measures to guard user passwords and private keys immediately the breach was detected.
During investigations into the matter, customers reported that some of the platform’s trading features had been turned off. This, according to Marques, was done to prevent any further damage.
Such companies base their reputations on their ability to protect user data. Atlas Quantum’s failure to do so could have already irreparably damaged their reputation, although only time will decide whether their customers stay loyal or opt for alternatives.
There Is Room for Malicious Use
Even though not a cent worth of Bitcoin was lost in the breach, JASK Senior Threat Analyst Kevin Stear believes that there is still a lot to be wary about.
As cryptocurrency markets become more popular, Stear said, they become targets for Trojan campaigns that were previously reserved for banking institutions. These trading platforms lack the same level of security used by conventional banks. To hackers, they are much easier targets.
Stear also warned that a major spear-phishing campaign could be heralded by this recent breach, saying that even though the hackers didn’t make away with anything in terms of Bitcoin, they could be preparing to strike again, this time to steal sensitive credentials and possibly take over user accounts.
Cryptocurrency trading platforms are rapidly turning into playgrounds for hackers, and according to Bitglass CTO Anurag Kahol, even accounts that have seen little to no activity are not safe either.
In a media statement, Kahol said he believes that reputation is tied to a company’s ability to mitigate such situations, which is why he recommended that the best course of action for the security team at Atlas Quantum would be to find out who hacked them and put up measures to ensure it doesn’t happen again.