Rise in cryptocurrency popularity has seen increase in online crime
Atheer – External Sources
The rise in popularity of cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin has seen hackers now target businesses and individuals, using a number of different tactics to do so.
The last two years have seen interest in cryptocurrency grow significantly, with digital currencies being seen as an investment opportunity by many. Cybercriminals have capitalised on the popularity of Bitcoin by using techniques such as crypto jacking, account takeovers, mining fraud and scams surrounding initial coin offerings (ICOs), among others.
According to IT Pro Portal, crypto jacking involves taking over another computer’s browser so to utilise its CPU, in order to mine against the user’s will. The software used by hackers to do this has become so advanced to the point that they can now clone popular websites to trick users into giving up their system’s resources.
Furthermore, botnets comprised of both PCs and mobile devices are once again being used to mine cryptocurrency. They were first used to do this back in 2014, however at the time they weren’t profitable. Now, thanks to coins such as Monero which are easier to mine, botnets can be rented online for as low as $40.
ICOs are also popular with hackers, owing to the amount of funds invested into them by users. Rather than selling fake tokens, cybercriminals prefer to target legitimate currencies by directly stealing funds from an ICO or through price manipulation using pump and dump schemes.
While investing in cryptocurrencies can be quite profitable if done securely with the right prior knowledge, users should ensure the security of their devices, as well their understanding of each particular coin prior to heavy investment.