Cryptocurrency users are subject to many different types of external threats. The perceived anonymity associated with Bitcoin and altcoins tends to attract criminal activity. A new Kaspersky Lab report confirms new threats will arise in 2019. It is now up to cryptocurrency users to take sufficient security precautions.
The 2018 Kaspersky Lab Threats Came True
The Bitcoin industry has seen its fair share of problems so far. Fake ICOs, exchange hacks, and data theft are just some of the examples. The real threats come in the form of cryptojacking, ransomware, and so forth. All of these threats need to be addressed properly. As users try to come up with countermeasures, criminals are already coming up with new avenues of attack. The latest report by Kaspersky Lab confirms there have been more threats to contend with as the industry continues to mature.
Their primary concern still pertains to the future of ransomware. This threat still remains present in 2018 and will continue throughout 2019. The shift will focus from encrypting data to malicious cryptocurrency miners. Cryptojacking and ransomware can make for a very potent combination. Criminals already reap the rewards from stealthy crypto mining over waiting for a Bitcoin payment. Kaspersky researchers expect this threat to become more apparent.
Additionally, the report warns about web mining efforts. Initial cryptojacking threats emerged in the form of malicious mining scripts on websites. While that trend is less apparent now, it seems the campaigns will be resumed. Whether or not this will coincide with another price surge for Bitcoin, is difficult to predict. At these low prices, some criminals may try to explore other lucrative options at their disposal.
The Blockchain Industry Shift
One particularly interesting note in the report pertaining to initial coin offerings. Kaspersky researchers are confident the blockchain “bubble” will begin to burst fairly soon. More specifically, there are expectations surrounding this technology which are not necessarily feasible. Any use of this technology beyond the cryptocurrency industry lacks the necessary achievements to make a meaningful impact. The researchers consider 2019 a good time to stop trying to make this technology work.
Unsurprisingly, the report doesn’t see a bright future for cryptocurrency payments. More specifically, there are fewer companies willing to accept Bitcoin or alternative cryptocurrencies. Claiming how it “doesn’t make sense for legitimate businesses to deal in crypto payments’ may be a stretch too far. One cannot deny merchant adoption has been a major struggle for years on end. There has not been any real improvement since, as these assets are mainly used for speculation.
It is evident the Kaspersky Lab report doesn’t envision a great future for cryptocurrency. That is unfortunate, although the year 2018 has been a strong wake-up call as well. Falling prices and a lack of adoption only confirm there is still a long road ahead. The future is always difficult to predict, thus this report needs to be taken with a grain of salt.
Do you agree with Kaspersky Lab’s predictions? Why or why not? Let us know in the comments below.
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