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Kaspersky predicts rise in crypto crime in 2021


Many financial cyber criminals will focus their attention on Bitcoin more often in 2021. Other cyber criminals are likely to switch to transit cryptocurrencies. Extortion practices are also becoming more ubiquitous. These are the findings of Cybersecurity specialist Kaspersky which has predicted the important developments in the financial threat landscape of 2021.

Among the most dangerous financial cyberthreats directly impact the financial wellbeing of victims – be it individuals or organizations. Drastic changes in 2020 have inevitably affected the way financial cyber criminals operate.

While not all of the tactics, techniques and procedures have been influenced by our changed way of living and working, their impact cannot be underestimated.

Kaspersky expects following changes in the financial industry threat landscape in 2021:

Move to the server side: Kaspersky researchers expect attacks like MageCarting, or so-called JS-skimming (the method of stealing payment card data from e-commerce platforms) to move to the server side next year. Evidence shows that from day to day there are fewer threat actors relying on client side attacks that use JavaScript.

More Transitional Currencies: The special technical capabilities for monitoring, de-anonymizing and seizing Bitcoin accounts are going to lead to a shift in cyber criminals’ methods of demanding payment. Other privacy enhanced currencies such as Monero are likely to be used as a first transition currency, with the funds being later converted to other cryptocurrency, including Bitcoin, to cover criminals’ tracks.

Extortion on the rise. Due to their successful operations and extensive media coverage this year, the threat actors behind targeted ransomware systematically increased the amounts victims were expected to pay in exchange for not publishing stolen information. Kaspersky anticipates an even higher growth in extortion attempts as a means to obtain money. Organizations, which may be hit by the loss of data and exhausting recovery processes, are in the crosshairs, with more cybercriminals targeting them with ransomware or DDoS attacks or even both.

Zero-day exploits used by ransomware gangs: 0-day exploits used by ransomware gangs. On top of that, ransomware groups who managed to accumulate funds as a result of a number of successful attacks in 2020 will start using 0-day exploits – vulnerabities that have not yet been found by developers – as well as N-days exploits to scale and increase the effectiveness of their attacks. While purchasing exploits is an expensive endeavor, based on the amounts some of the ransomware operators were able to obtain from their victims, they now have sufficient funds to invest in them.

Bitcoin theft will become more attractive
With economies collapsing and local currencies dropping, more people may become involved in cybercrime. Kaspersky expects that due to the weakness of local currencies, more people will focus on fraud that demands Bitcoin, as well as Bitcoin theft, since it is the most widespread cryptocurrency.

Financial predictions are part of the Kaspersky Vertical Threat Predictions for 2021, one of the segments of the Kaspersky Security Bulletin (KSB) – an annual series of predictions and analytical reports on key shifts in the cybersecurity world. Follow this link to look at other KSB pieces.

The financial forecasts are part of the Kaspersky Vertical Threat Predictions for 2021, one of the segments of the Kaspersky Security Bulletin (ROB) – an annual series of forecasts and analytical reports on major shifts in the cybersecurity world. Other KSB pieces are available here . Curious to review what the Kaspersky experts expected to see in 2020 last year? You can find it here.

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