Why Are Cybercriminals Moving Away From Using Bitcoin?March 16, 2018 9:22 pm
A Congressional hearing on terrorism financing on Thursday said that bitcoin was falling out of use for cybercriminals, according to Forbes.
Hackers are now moving on to other forms of cryptocurrency, including ethereum and other more moderately priced forms of cryptocurrency after the bitcoin market has had a very tumultuous year.
The criminals are also moving to lesser-known brand names since a number of bitcoin exchanges have been taken down by law enforcement agencies around the world and the threat of regulation is growing for those that remain.
RAND Corporation Information Scientist Lillian Ablon and the Center for Strategic and International Studies Senior Vice President James Lewis said that the intelligence reports indicated that crooks are avoiding bitcoin.
Lewis said that many are moving away from the cryptocurrency for receiving ransomware payments and other illegal transactions since the digital currency aren’t anonymous enough anymore.
The expert said that criminal identities can be exposed when they go to convert the bitcoin into cash, but warned that cybercrime is still successful in using cryptocurrencies as a “get rich quick scheme.”
Albon said that a thief can get more cryptocurrency from a stolen Twitter account instead of a stolen credit card number since the Twitter username/password combination can often be used to unlock other accounts.
The experts also said that crooks can get paid more on the dark web for Twitter account information since they can also provide access to victims’ contact lists for follow-up attacks via spam or phishing attempts.
Albon also said that freshly acquired credit card information cost more than ones gained from older hacks since they have a better chance of being linked to a currently active account.
She said that one of the “chip and signature cards” can go for $15 each after a new breach, but once banks discover that the hack occurred, the price can go as low as $10 each.
“Eventually, the credit cards may go on clearance, and one can purchase a “grab bag” of 100 credit card numbers for $700,” Albon said.
The researcher said that collection of old credit card numbers can still be a win for the criminal, explaining that even if only two out of 100 are still open, a crook can purchase and then illegally sell expensive electronics for a quick profit.
McAfee Chief Strategist Joe Bernik also testified during the congressional hearing to say that ransomware was the fastest growing cybercrime tool, with more than 6,000 criminal marketplaces currently selling their products and services.
Bernik also warned that even though cybercriminals were using state-of-the-art methods in some of their crimes, many were still reliant on old-fashioned methods of data theft.
“If tried and true tactics like phishing are still working, why spend money to purchase a more sophisticated technique?” said Bernik.
–WN.com, Maureen Foody