The Coronavirus Led to Cybercrime
Cybercrime relating to cryptocurrency increased by about 75 percent during the peak of the COVID-19 scare. It appears that with more people working from home and not situated in a public office, there are less means of protecting exchanges and other trading platforms. Companies have fewer employees with access to the tools they need to enforce security measures.
In addition, much of the crime appears to be centered around anonymous cryptocurrencies, meaning that little of the money stolen is ever likely to be recovered. The 75 percent figure comes from a new report issued by the FBI which was unveiled by congressman Emanuel Cleaver from Missouri. Overall, there was a 238 percent increase in digital crime, with about 900 percent of the attacks recorded coming by way of ransomware.
As if people didn’t have enough to worry about. Local, national, and international governments alike issued stay-at-home warnings telling people that they needed to quarantine themselves and remain within their trusted domiciles to keep safe and healthy. Allegedly, there was a risk in going outside and cavorting with other people – risk that involved getting one sick.
But that wasn’t enough. On top of all that, hackers and malicious actors had to get their fingers on tools that would ultimately give them access to funds that weren’t theirs. The people of this country and the world undoubtedly deserve better, and they deserve less stress and worry about the circumstances they’re facing.
The report notes that many attacks occurred on exchanges and platforms, as cryptocurrencies grant a path towards anonymity – either complete or relative. In addition, dark web activity appears to be up, with more criminals active behind closed doors and utilizing crypto to complete their transactions.
However, it looks like the most common form of attack came by way of email attachments. Many malicious players sent out emails with phony attachments talking about information related to the coronavirus. Whoever clicked on these attachments or followed the instructions in the emails became targets and could thus be hacked or have their funds stolen.
Don’t Make Any Donations
There were also several means of stealing money through phony donations. Several users had the opportunity to donate bitcoin and other crypto to the Red Cross and similar medical associations to assist in their battles against COVID-19. The only problem was that many of these advertisements were false and did not present valid crypto addresses for the organizations in question. Instead, they were addresses owned by hackers that ultimately wound up with digital coins that didn’t belong to them.
Security firms are now asking people to ignore such messages and take greater care when it comes to making their home networks secure.