Bitcoin theft to increase in post-COVID economy, says survey

Cybercriminals may prefer a different cryptomeda in the coming months.

Cryptoma-related fraud and theft will likely grow in the post-COVID-19 world, according to a new report from Kaspersky Lab’s cyber security and antivirus provider.

Securelist, Kaspersky’s cyber threat research arm, has published a report on cyber threats to financial organizations, predicting some specific types of financial attacks that are likely to occur in 2021.

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

According to Kaspersky’s research arm, Bitcoin is probably the most attractive asset for cyber crime because it is the most popular digital asset. The report says:

„We can see some savings breaking and local currencies plummeting, which would make Bitcoin theft much more attractive. We should expect more fraud, mainly targeting BTC, because this crypto currency is the most popular. ”

Securelist researchers have also suggested that online criminals could switch to more privacy-focused digital assets such as Monero (XMR). According to the company, this change would occur due to the increased „technical capacity to monitor, dishonimize and seize BTC“. The Securelist post says:

„[…] We should expect cybercriminals to switch to cryptomorphic traffic to charge victims. There is a reason to believe that they can switch to other currencies with enhanced privacy, such as Monero, to use them first as a currency of transition and then convert the funds to any other cryptomime of choice, including BTC. ”

As previously published by the Cointelegraph, crypto-related crimes declined significantly in 2020, although some cryptographic sectors (such as DeFi) have become new hotbeds of criminal activity. According to a report by the VPN firm Atlas VPN, crypto and blockchain-related hacks are likely to continue to decline in 2021.

Federal Police attempt to criminalize encryption by claiming ‚privacy‘ is a pretext for crimes

Federal Police say company offers solution with encryption and ‚privacy‘ as pretext to make it harder to monitor criminal activities

According to exclusive information shared with Cointelegraph, a Federal Police investigation involving different types of crimes, identifies as condescending to crimes the provision of services and technologies that support cryptography and accept cryptographic assets as means of payment.

According to the understanding of the Federal Police in the case, tools that allow privacy are a „pretext“ for promoting technologies that ensure that criminals can commit crimes without being monitored and thus punished.

Cypherpunk Holdings becomes ninth largest public holder of Bitcoin

According to the source of the information, who exercised his right to privacy and asked for his name to be withheld, what caught his attention was the fact that in the investigation in question, the legitimate actions of the companies were identified as ‚criminal complacency‘. In the understanding of this case, the company acting with cryptographic devices and assets would be assisting criminals in their illegal activities.

There is no indication of direct crime in the sale of cryptography. There is the suggestion, by the investigative organ (Federal Police) that: (i) to sell devices with strong cryptography and (ii) to encourage payment in bitcoins is to use privacy as a pretext. In fact, what is done is to help criminals commit crimes,‘ reported the source.

In the document in question, the agency assumes that companies that accept Bitcoin payments use privacy as a pretext to make it difficult for the authorities to monitor criminal activities.

This understanding by the agency revives misunderstandings about the criminalization of cryptography. According to the reasoning exposed in the investigation, the person responsible for the sale of an encryption software knows or at least strongly suspects that its ‚customers‘ are criminals who make use of encryption for illegal purposes. Thus, by making this technology available to the market, they take the risk of this result.