Report: Cybercriminals shift focus to crypto industry



RIYADH: As attacks using conventional financial threats have become less frequent in 2022, cybercriminals shifted their focus to the crypto industry, according to a new report by Kaspersky.

The detection of conventional financial threats like banking PC and mobile malware in the global cybersecurity company dropped significantly last year.

In addition, anti-phishing systems in Kaspersky have prevented 40% more cryptocurrency-related phishing attacks last year, compared to 2021.

The year 2022 concluded with 5 million detections of crypto phishing, compared to 3.6 million the year prior, the report noted.

Data from the report further revealed that every seventh person surveyed was impacted by cryptocurrency phishing.

The report partially attributed this rise to the instability that happened in the crypto market last year, which directly relies on the level of trust that users have in cryptocurrency.

Kaspersky indicated that scammers are continuously developing their tricks and crafting novel techniques to effectively con their victims.

“Despite some problems that have occurred in the cryptocurrency market over the past six months, in the minds of many people, crypto still remains a symbol of getting rich quick with minimal effort,” commented Olga Svistunova, a security expert at Kaspersky.

She added: “Therefore, the flow of scammers parasitizing in this field does not dry out. In order to lure victims into their networks, these scammers continue to come up with new and more interesting stories.”

One of the stories discovered by the company was that of an email containing a PDF file claiming that the user registered on a cryptocurrency cloud mining platform a while back and, since their account is inactive, needs to withdraw crypts at once.

In the file, there would be a link directed to a bogus mining platform where the user would fill out a form with personal data and then pay a commission.

The cybersecurity company provided means by which people can safely use cryptocurrency while limiting their tendency to be conned, according to the report.

Double-checking website URLs and avoiding suspicious links is a clear-cut way to be cautious of phishing scams and prevent them.

Not sharing the private keys that unlock cryptocurrency wallets was another recommendation from the global cybersecurity company.

In addition, staying informed about cyber threats and how to protect oneself will prepare people better against attacks, stated the report.

The report also stressed on the importance of effective research before taking any steps towards investing in something, and suggested the use of trustworthy security solutions.

Kaspersky uses innovative security solutions and services to protect 400 million users internationally ranging from businesses to essential infrastructure to governmental institutions and consumers. – Arab News, Jeddah/Tribune News Service

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