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Nicholas Percoco on Defending the Crypto Honeypot - WBD129

Published on July 26th, 2019 by DSholla

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“When I joined Kraken, my earliest impression of the company is that, this is by far the most security-minded organisation that I have ever experienced.” — Nicholas Percoco

Interview Location: Chicago

Interview Date: Thursday 11th, July

Company: Kraken

Role: Chief Security Officer

Exchange hacks have been a constant thorn in the side of the industry. Where a physical bank robbery of $millions will make headline news, a +$100m exchange hack will barely break out of the crypto news media. Exchange hacks are now so commonplace that a recent report from Ledger’s CEO Eric Larcheveque found that the equivalent of $2.7 million a day was stolen from exchanges last year.

Almost every major exchange has experienced a hack of some kind, from Mt. Gox to Poloniex to Bitfinex, and more recently Binance and Cryptopia, the list goes on and on.

As such, security is one of the biggest challenges faced by any exchange, and there are very few that haven’t suffered from a breach, one that has managed to remain unscathed is Kraken. With attacks becoming more sophisticated and hackers working 24/7 to find vulnerabilities how is that Kraken has managed to succeed where so many others failed?

The man in charge of this roll at Kraken is Nicholas Percoco, their Chief Security Officer. In this interview, we discuss:

  • Ethical hacking

  • Finding critical vulnerabilities in iOS

  • Vulnerability brokers

  • Kraken’s company-wide security culture

  • The difficulties in disclosing vulnerabilities

  • Kraken Security Labs

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