Crypto Phishing, Theft Top Current List of Cybercrimes

Cryptocurrency phishing and theft have emerged as the top instances of cybercrime.

Komfie Manalo,
3 hrs ago


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Cryptocurrency and blockchain technologies have become the fastest-growing areas of cybercrime. A review of research on criminal abuse of these technologies and criminal enterprises targeting digital currency exchanges has shown that cryptocurrency phishing and theft have emerged as the top challenges for cryptocurrency market participants and security solution providers, according to APWG.

To provide a better view of the cybercrime landscape, a peer-reviewed research symposium will  be held in San Diego, California next month. It will focus on cryptocurrency and blockchain technologies, as well as the automated detection and response approaches for preventing cybercrime.

APWG said:

“The program promotes a cross-fertilizing dialog between the academic and industrial research communities, financial services and cryptocurrency companies, security practitioners and law enforcement personnel to exchange ideas, experiences, and lessons learned in all aspects of investigation, detection and programmatic suppression of electronic crime.”

Crypto market in landscape of heightened risk

The grim environment in the cryptocurrency market is illustrated by a study ThreatMetrix released in February. According to the report, some attributes of the sector make it vulnerable to cybercriminals.

ThreatMetrix’s Q4 2017 Cybercrime Report claims the digital currency space is now the primary target for cybercriminals. It estimates that between 10% and 20% of Bitcoins are held by fraudsters. Digital assets are also being used by criminals to launder money, according to the study.

Cybersecurity provider McAfee also released a study showing that the number of cybercrimes targeting digital currencies has jumped along with market interest in virtual currencies.

The research paper noted that attacks on Bitcoin and Monero wallets increased as the value of Bitcoin reached nearly $20,000 in December. McAfee said in its report:

“This shift reinforces the point that cybercriminals will always seek to combine the highest returns in the shortest time with the least risk. Security researchers have also recently discovered Android apps used for cryptocurrency mining.”