Europol report: cryptocurrencies encourage cyber crime

 Oktober 2020      

Popular wallets and other privacy enhancing technologies were identified as threats in Europol’s latest crypto report.

With the IOCTA (Internet Organized Crime Threat Assessment), Europol has set up a department that investigates cyber threats. In a recent report the authorities take stock.

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The investigators are rather critical of the increasing spread of crypto currencies. The 64-page report said they eased payments for various forms of cybercrime. The Bitcoin System platform sees developments in relation to private-sector crypto-coins and services as particularly problematic.

The IOCTA report concludes that the reliability of the blockchain and the irreversibility of transactions, as well as the associated anonymity, make it easier for cybercriminals to proceed. It is even from one

Standard payment method for payments made by victims to criminals as part of ransom and other extortion programs, as well as for payments from criminals to criminals on the dark web the speech.

Most recently, the Pricacy Wallet Wasabi came into focus at Europol . The investigators had determined that almost a third of the Wasabi transactions could be linked to darknet transactions.

Europol recognizes the goodwill of the providers in the fight against crime

Investigators say it is difficult to locate cybercrime in comparison to other criminal practices. Because criminals could do a lot of damage with a relatively small investment. From 4 million sextortion emailsI was able to extract 12,500 Bitcoin addresses. It is true that “only” 245 of these actually received a payment. For a “low budget fraud” the maneuver was nevertheless very lucrative. Typical ransomware attacks are much more profitable, but also more complex to implement.

As more and more private individuals use cryptocurrencies, it is obvious that the number of potential victims is also increasing. For 2019, the IOCTA report lists ten publicly confirmed hacks from exchanges where criminals have stolen cryptocurrencies. The total damage amounts to 240 million euros.

This problem is known to the private providers and in many places appropriate safety precautions have already been taken. However, Europol criticizes that not every company cooperates sufficiently with investigators to put a stop to fraudsters.

However, the report praises the fact that the crypto exchanges in particular have further strengthened their know-your-customer measures (KYC). Not only the operators, but also the media are ultimately obliged by the IOCTA to provide information about the risks associated with cryptocurrencies.