Kaspersky Lab: Bitcoin owners could become attractive targets for cybercriminals in the post-COVID economy

According to a new report published by IT security firm Kaspersky Lab, crypto-currency fraud and theft are likely to increase in the post-COVID-19 world.

Securelist, Kaspersky’s cybercrime research branch, has published a report on cyber threats to financial organizations, highlighting some types of financial attacks that are likely to see a sharp increase in 2021.

The researchers predicted that a wave of poverty caused by the COVID-19 pandemic will inevitably lead to „more people resorting to cybercrime, including cybercrime“. This could also mean an increase in Bitcoin-related crime (BTC).

According to the conclusions of Kaspersky’s research branch, Bitcoin will probably be the most attractive asset for cybercrime, being the most popular digital asset on the market. The report explains:

„We may see some economies collapse and local currencies plummet, events that would make the theft of Bitcoin much more attractive. We should expect more fraud, targeted primarily at BTC, being the most popular cryptocurrency“.

In addition, Securelist researchers have suggested that cybercriminals might start using more privacy-focused digital assets like Monero (XMR). According to the company, this transition will occur because of the increased „technical capabilities of monitoring, de-anonymizing and seizing BTC.

The Securelist report adds:

„We should expect cybercriminals to switch to intermediate cryptocurrency for ransoms imposed on victims. We believe they may switch to other currencies with enhanced privacy, such as Monero, to be used first as an intermediate currency from which to convert funds into any other chosen cryptocurrency, including BTC“.

As previously reported by Cointelegraph, crypto-related crimes decreased significantly in 2020; however, some areas, such as decentralized finance, have become new hotbeds for criminal activity. According to a report published by Atlas VPN, crypto and blockchain-related hacks are likely to continue and decrease in 2021.

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