The rise in the value of cryptocurrencies is likely to drive up the demands of ransom and extortion of companies, warns a British cybersecurity company. With Bitcoin reaching over $ 6,000 this week and other anonymous coins jumping in value, it is becoming more lucrative for criminals.
Cybercriminals and hackers have taken companies hostage with their ransom demand. cryptocurrencies. Now, there is an even greater incentive to make high demands because the gains are much greater.
Requests for at least $ 25 mln are likely to increase because the technological changes in virtual currencies are according to MWR InfoSecurity, MRW, which tests cyberdefenses for banks and governments, has made risks known to several institutions of major cities in a report that focuses on the effects of cybercrime. the growing interest in trading cryptocurrencies.
A Liquid Market
It's not just the high price of these digital currencies that makes it attractive to criminals; this is because demand is slowly increasing the depth and liquidity of the market.
Increasing liquidity allows buyers and sellers of assets to make transactions without dramatically shifting the price of assets and rising prices to switch hands more easily .
"A single transaction that consumes a large portion of the liquidity of a market is very likely to be noticed, while a proportionally smaller transaction in a larger market will cause As such, increasing the liquidity of crypto-currencies will allow criminals to extract larger values. "
Good for crypto is good for criminals
In July, it appeared that British companies were stockpiling cryptocurrency in case of ransomware attacks. They were willing to pay on average £ 136,000 to regain access to critical data and intellectual property
However, as there was an increase in value, as well as the infrastructure Blockchain with the implementation of SegWit,
The actual fundraising that could be spent anonymously has posed problems for criminals until the beginning of the year, the report adds, in part because the Blockchain, the infrastructure behind Bitcoin, sometimes took a few minutes. or hours to finalize payments. Until then, requests for ransomware were limited to about $ 40,000, according to the report
But by the end of July, Bitcoin split into two currencies and the payment deadlines for transactions were been accelerated.