Europol has warned against the growing threats of cryptocurrency hackers, extortion and mining malware in a new report.
According to the "IOCTA" report, published by the Internet, "Internet Organized Crime Threat Assessment 2018", published on Wednesday, the holdings of those using cryptocurrencies, as well as exchanges, are increasingly at risk as "criminal abuses" "of financial technology increase.
Previous reports from Europol have indicated that online criminals are increasingly turning to cryptocurrencies to fund their illicit activities. As CoinDesk reported, bitcoin has lost token market share with greater privacy protection, such as zcash and monero. However, "it still remains the main cryptocurrency encountered by the forces of order," says the latest update.
In particular, the report stated that terrorist groups tried to raise money using cryptocurrencies – but that until today, none of that money has been used to effectively finance any attacks in Europe.
"However, despite the clear potential, none of the attacks on European soil appear to have been financed by cryptocurrency," Europol noted. "The use of cryptocurrencies by terrorist groups has involved only low-level transactions – their main funding still derives from traditional banking and remittance services."
Increasingly, Europol continues, exchanges of cryptocurrencies, miners and other users run the risk of hacking and even "extortion of personal data and theft".
Risks related to the ecosystem
The report also highlights the perceived risks of decentralized trade, which are not controlled by a single centralized entity, saying:
"Money recyclers have evolved to use cryptocurrencies in their operations and are increasingly facilitated by new developments such as decentralized exchanges that allow exchanges without any need of the customer.The high privacy cryptocurrencies are likely to make current mixing and tumbler services obsolete. " L & # 39; use of illegal encryption or encryption programs is also listed as an emerging trend in the world of cybercrime.
As reported by CoinDesk, malicious cryptocurrency attacks jumped 956 percent from the end of June 2017 to the same date in 2018, surpassing ransomware as the preferred tool of the cyber-thief. Even so, ransomware remains "the main threat to both order forces and industry reports," Europol said.
According to the report, illegal miners hidden in the website code – leveraging the processor power of victims to extract cryptids – create "additional revenue streams and therefore the motivation for hackers to hack legitimate sites to exploit their systems of visitors.
Likewise, mining malware "can paralyze a system of victims by monopolizing their processing power."
The report warns that this last activity should become "a regular revenue stream to low risk for cyber criminals. "
Image of Europol through Shutterstock