Despite the crypto market’s loss of over $1 trillion in value since the beginning of the year, the value of the digital currency isn’t what makes it a popular choice for cybercriminals.
We all know cybercriminals handle their malicious transactions with victim organizations in cryptocurrencies. Why? It’s pseudoanonymous, portable, makes for easy money laundering, and isn’t really about the value of the crypto itself. Think about it – even ransomware and data breach extortion gangs are asking for ransoms based on their monetary value - $1 million for example – but ask for it in cryptocurrency based on the current market. So, if Bitcoin is the crypto of choice and today it’s worth $20,000 the cybercriminal gang is asking for 40 coins. If it were valued at $40,000, it would be just 20 coins.
There was some optimism in cybersecurity circles that a diminished crypto market would slow down cyberattacks focused on taking in crypto as payment, but there’s no current indicator that anything remotely close to that is happening.
- The FTC recently warned that scammers were turning to cryptocurrencies
- Attacks on crypto wallets, like MetaMask, abound
- Celebrity crypto scams seem to be increasing and are getting worse
And with the average ransom continues to trend upward (despite a sharp decline in Q1 of this year), it’s evident that cybercriminals don’t care about the current value of cryptocurrency.
This means you should expect cyberattacks – like ransomware and extortion-focused data breaches – to continue, raising the importance of having continual Security Awareness Training in place to stop any attacks that begin with phishing or social engineering attacks.