Cybersecurity experts at Kaspersky Lab predict an increase in the number of cryptocurrency crimes in 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which has damaged national economies.
Kaspersky Lab has released a report on financial threats for 2021, which is based on this year’s data and models. According to cybersecurity experts, attacks aimed at stealing BTC “will become more attractive to hackers, as the economies of many countries will significantly deteriorate as a result of the pandemic.”
According to the company’s forecasts, the aggravating factor of the weakening of local currencies in the crisis will also push people to cybercrime, which will lead to an increase in the number of cases of BTC fraud, as well as theft. The main focus of hackers will be on bitcoin, because it is “the most common cryptocurrency”.
At the same time, online criminals will increasingly use bitcoin in scams with ransom demands. According to the report, the use of “intermediate cryptocurrencies” with privacy-enhancing features, such as XMR, will become even more popular when hiding traces of a crime. Later, these cryptocurrencies will be converted by attackers into bitcoin.
The change in tactics will be driven by the improved ability of governments to track cryptocurrencies when it comes to monitoring, de-anonymizing, and confiscating assets from cryptocurrency accounts. Kaspersky Lab refers to the recent seizure by
the US Department of Justice of 69,370 BTC related to Silk Road.
According to cybersecurity experts, the number of ransomware attacks demanding payments in crypto assets will also increase due to their success.
“Organizations that can be harmed by data loss and grueling recovery processes have found themselves in the spotlight as more cybercriminals attack them with ransomware, DDoS attacks, or both,” according to the report.
Recall that at the beginning of the year, researchers from Kaspersky Lab discovered that the North Korean hacker group Lazarus began to steal cryptocurrencies using the Telegram messenger, and in May, Interpol and Kaspersky Lab teamed up
to fight ransomware viruses.