Cybersecurity continues to be one of the most pressing problems in the digital economy. By the end of January, two large cybersecurity companies released analytical reports on the crimes committed in 2018. Unfortunately, the statistics are not encouraging at all.
Cyber attack methods and the scale of the problem
As Bitnewstoday wrote earlier, at the end of 2018, McAfee researchers noted an increase in the number of malware mining cases by more than 4,000%. The most popular cryptocurrency is Monero, mostly due to its high level of anonymity — according to various sources, from 4.3% to 5% of Monero is mined with malware. During 2018, the Monero phenomenon was studied by Palo Alto Networks, as well as by the specialists from Carlos III University and King’s College in London.
In addition to the rapid growth of crypto malware mining, the growth of mobile malware has also increased — at least 33% of organizations were attacked on mobile devices, in particular, Android ones. Botnets were also recognized as a tangible and growing threat in 2018 — 18% of companies experienced the attacks. It is also worth noting that there is an extremely negative trend in the number of digital assets’ hack attacks, as it is reported in another recently published document.
The digital economy under fire: the threats are evolving
CipherTrace, a cybersecurity startup, has also released a cryptocurrency Anti-Money Laundering report, where outlined the impact of regulations and uncovered the new emerging money laundering schemes. The report noted that the volume of theft and fraud in the cryptocurrency segment reached $1.7 billion in 2018. Despite the decline in the crypto market, an extraordinary increase in the number of crimes was recorded, compared to 2017.
“Cryptocurrency criminal activity continues to evolve and accelerate. Fortunately, pending global legislation will hamstring many criminals, global gangs, and terrorist groups by greatly reducing their opportunities to launder. These tough new laws will drive bad actors to not only innovate but also flock to jurisdictions with weak regulatory oversight, as we have shown in earlier research,”
— commented Dave JEVANS, CEO at CipherTrace and co-chair of the Cryptocurrency Working Group at APWG.org.
CipherTrace experts have also identified several trends regarding the threats that the digital economy may face soon which come from cryptocurrencies. These are SIM-cards swappings with the subsequent theft of funds, crypto-dusting (sending small amounts of funds from compromised wallets), crypto-mixers and decentralized stablecoins.
The vastly growing number of cyber crimes and the emergence of new cybersecurity threat types suggest that the work in this field should not stop for a minute. The development of the digital economy depends mainly on how stable and safe the industry will become.
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