Kaspersky report: Bitcoin fraud and theft may surge in 2021

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According to a new report from Kaspersky Lab, a network security and antivirus provider, after the world experiences COVID-19, fraud and theft related to cryptocurrencies may increase.

Securelist, a cyber threat research organization under Kaspersky Lab, published a report on cyber threats in financial institutions, predicting that certain types of financial attacks may surge in 2021.

Securelist predicts that the large-scale poverty caused by the new crown pneumonia pandemic will inevitably lead to “more people on the road to crime, including cybercrime.” This also means that crimes related to Bitcoin (BTC) will increase.

According to Securelist, Bitcoin may be the most attractive asset for cybercriminals because it is the most popular digital asset. The Securelist report states:

“We may see the collapse of certain economies and the collapse of local currencies, which will make Bitcoin theft more attractive. Since Bitcoin is the most popular cryptocurrency, we expect more to be targeted towards Bitcoin Fraud.”

The Securelist researchers also pointed out that cybercriminals may switch to more privacy-conscious digital assets, such as Monero (XMR). According to Securelist, this transition will occur due to “the continuous enhancement of technological capabilities for monitoring, de-anonymizing and controlling Bitcoin.” The Securelist report states:

“We should expect that cybercriminals will switch to transferring cryptocurrencies to charge victims. We have reason to believe that they may switch to other privacy-enhancing currencies, such as Monero, and they will use these currencies in the first place. As a transition currency, and then convert the funds to any other cryptocurrency including BTC.”

As previously reported by Cointelegraph, although some crypto fields, such as decentralized finance, have become new hotbeds of criminal activities, crimes related to cryptocurrency will significantly decrease in 2020. According to a report by Atlas VPN, a virtual private network company, cryptocurrency and blockchain-related hacking attacks may continue to decrease in 2021.

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