While most news for Bitcoin has been positive this year, 2020 marked a year rampant with Bitcoin and crypto-related crime. According to Kaspersky’s new report, most of the cyber threats and hacking scams that have plagued the crypto community in 2020 will likely increase in 2021 due to a new wave of COVID-19 induced poverty.
With 2021 just a month away, it is important for crypto firms and traders to pay attention to the cybersecurity landscape of the coming year. Leading cybersecurity solutions provider Kaspersky’s latest report indicates that an increase in global financial hardship due to the coronavirus pandemic will see crypto-related crime increase to new levels.
The coronavirus pandemic is likely to trigger a huge wave of poverty and that would translate into more people engaging in crime including cybercrime as a way of getting livelihoods. Kaspersky researchers stated that certain economies may crash and local currencies plummet, which would make Bitcoin theft become more attractive. More fraud, targeting mostly Bitcoin is likely to occur because it is the most popular cryptocurrency.
With the special technical capabilities of deanonymization, monitoring, and seizing of Bitcoin accounts now in place, cybercriminals are expected to switch to transit cryptocurrencies for charging victims. Bad actors would prefer switching to other privacy-enhanced currencies including Monero to use them as a transition currency and then convert the funds to any other crypto assets of choice including Bitcoin.
Extortion practices are set to become more widespread as ransomware gangs consolidate and advance exploits being utilized more effectively to target victims. Coronavirus-related changes to the way people work and live have changed the way financial attackers operate. The implications of such shifts for the next year are significant. Throughout 2020, firms became less secure because of hastily deployed remote work solutions. That has translated into vulnerable remote access connections, default laptop configurations left unchanged, and a lack of employee training. Together these trends have opened up a series of new attack vectors, including targeted ransomware campaigns.
Addressing Crypto Crime
Criminal networks have increasingly recognized the superpowers given to them by the crypto world. Of course, the cryptocurrency world has become a part of the global financial system and is included in the analytical and monitoring efforts. Moreover, the ability to investigate and identify crypto crime has become a basic requirement for international and national law enforcement agencies. However, to succeed in the fight against crypto crime, law enforcement agencies must arm themselves with the right tools. Furthermore, it would be important for businesses to increase communications between various government agencies to detect patterns and address the problem. Finally, the introduction of tighter regulations is another vital way to minimize criminal crypto activities. All countries should enforce KYC (Know Your Customer) rule to get people to disclose their identities before conducting crypto transactions.