Cryptocurrency Is A Catalyst For Cybercrime, Says Guy Segal, Director Of Sygnia – Cybersecurity – Tech Tribune France

Cryptocurrency is the enabler and catalyst for most ransomware attacks, according to Guy Segal, vice president of Asia-Pacific cybersecurity services at Sygnia.

Segal describes the relationship between cryptocurrency and cybercrime as multidimensional.

“First, whenever you deal with a ransom, the ransom is paid in cryptocurrency. Usually, but not always Bitcoin,” he said.

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“The other issue is that cryptocurrency companies – exchange companies – are very fragile and very vulnerable to attack. While if you attack a real bank you can damage the bank and you can demand a ransom, if you attack a cryptocurrency exchange you can run with the bank’s money.

As Bitcoin and cryptocurrency markets have fallen over the past few weeks, Segal said this has had a unique effect on negotiations between cybercrime victims and attackers.

“The price of Bitcoin has collapsed, I think more than three times lower than current records, and it is very dynamic on a daily basis. From the perspective of many threat actors, this means that you cannot agree on a deal based on the number of Bitcoins, but the negotiation will be concluded on the US dollar amount.

“For example, if you could once agree on 40 Bitcoins and then know it’s going to cost around $2 million, now the threat actor has no certainty when they agree on 40 Bitcoins on Monday, how much will it cost in US dollars, at the end of the week?”

According to Segal, Bitcoin has anonymized threat actors, keeping them safe and largely preventing them from being caught.

A new study from cybersecurity firm Proofpoint reveals the methods and techniques threat actors are using to mine cryptocurrencies and digital tokens or NFTs.

The authors name cryptocurrency credential harvesting, cryptocurrency transfer solicitation, and commodity thieves who target cryptocurrency values ​​as the three fundamentals of a phishing campaign targeting the crypto.

“Proofpoint researchers observe several objectives demonstrated by cybercriminal threat actors related to digital tokens and finance, such as traditional fraud leveraging business email compromise (BEC) to target individuals, and the activity targeting decentralized financial organizations (DeFi) that facilitate cryptocurrency storage and transactions for possible follow-on activity. These two types of threats contributed to $14 billion in cryptocurrency losses in 2021,” the report states.

According to Proofpoint Senior Director of Threat Detection and Research Sherrod DeGrippo, “Cybercriminal threats to cryptocurrency are not new, but as the general public experiences increasing adoption of cryptocurrency, people may be more likely to engage with social engineering lures using such themes.

“There is no simpler method of financial extraction than the illicit transfer of cryptocurrency.”

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Cryptocurrency Is A Catalyst For Cybercrime, Says Guy Segal, Director Of Sygnia – Cybersecurity – Tech Tribune France


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