Cryptocurrency-related fraud and theft are likely to increase in the post-COVID-19 world, according to a new report from antivirus and cybersecurity firm Kaspersky Lab.
Securelist, Kaspersky’s research arm for cyberthreat, released a report on cyberthreats to financial organizations and forecast some specific types of financial attacks that are expected to increase in 2021.
Securelist has predicted that a wave of poverty fueled by the COVID-19 pandemic will inevitably lead to “more people turning to crime, including cybercrime”. This could also mean an increase in Bitcoin (BTC) -related crime.
According to Kaspersky’s research department, Bitcoin is probably the most attractive commodity for cybercrime as it is the most popular digital commodity. The report says:
“We could see certain economies collapse and local currencies crash, which would make Bitcoin theft much more attractive. We should expect more scams targeting mostly BTC as it is the most popular cryptocurrency. “
Securelist researchers also suggested that online perpetrators could switch to more privacy-focused digital assets like Monero (XMR). According to the company, this change would occur due to the increase in “technical capabilities to monitor, de-anonymize and capture BTC”. The Securelist contribution is:
“”[…] We should expect cyber criminals to migrate into transit cryptocurrencies to collect from victims. There is reason to believe that they could switch to other privacy-enhanced coins like Monero to use it as a transitional currency first, and then convert the money to another cryptocurrency of their choice, including BTC. “
As previously reported by Cointelegraph, Cryptocurrency-related crime slowed significantly in 2020, although some cryptocurrency sectors (like DeFi) have become new hotbeds for criminal activity. According to a report from VPN company Atlas VPN, cryptocurrency and blockchain-related attacks are likely to decline further in 2021.