Any up-and-coming industry is going to attract fraudsters, and cryptocurrency is no exception. But it’s not just consumers who are impacted by cryptocurrency scams. The U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) reported that in 2021, instances of crypto scams were 12 times higher than in 2020, and the total amount of losses was up nearly 1,000%, while this January’s FTC report found that crypto scams now make up the majority of all investment-related fraud online.
The actions that employees take on company devices or networks involving cryptocurrency can open businesses up to a great deal of unexpected risk for unpleasant consequences like cryptojacking.. It can also open businesses up to crypto-specific cyberattacks like cryptomining that can open dagerous backdoors for cybercriminals. Keep these facts about cryptocurrency phishing in mind when considering the impact that it might have on your company.
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10 Facts About Cryptocurrency Phishing & Risk That You Need to Know
- As of January 2022, the total global market capitalization of all cryptocurrencies totals $2.05 trillion, making it the world’s 8th largest economy by gross domestic product.
- Scammers took home a record $14 billion in cryptocurrency in 2021.
- Losses from crypto-related crime rose 79% in 2021.
- There were 51.1 million cryptojacking hacks in the first half of 2021, a 23% increase over the same period the year before.
- NASAA (North American Securities Administrators Association), named cryptocurrency scams like phishing and other cryptocurrency-related frauds a top threat to investors in 2022.
- Almost 55% of cyberattacks that swindled people out of their cryptocurrency (or the passwords to their digital wallets) came from spoofing or impersonation schemes.
- The recently released 2021 Cisco Cyber Security Threat Trends report pointed to cryptomining as a top overlooked risk for businesses
- Almost 70% of organizations worldwide experienced some level of unsolicited cryptomining.
- The number one country for Bitcoin mining is China the US is number two.
- Cryptocurrency-based crime hit a new all-time high in 2021, with illicit addresses receiving $14 billion over the course of the year, up from $7.8 billion in 2020.
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What is Cryptocurrency Phishing?
Much like garden-variety phishing, crypto phishing happens when scammers contact potential victims and persuade them to transfer funds or cough up their credentials for coin wallets. Crypto phishing can happen through email, SMS, social media and chat.
One of the most famous cases of recent times was a 17-year-old scammer from Florida who hacked the Twitter accounts of famous folks such as Bill Gates, Elon Musk, Barack Obama, Joe Biden, and more and used them to persuade crypto investors to send hm money to capitalize on a sure-fire investment – and bilked individuals out of $100,000 worth of cryptocurrency.
What is Cryptojacking?
Cryptojacking is related to cryptomining and is typically part of the same process. It’s a huge hazard for businesses because it’s a quick and often unexpected way for company devices to become compromised. In a cryptojacking incident, bad actors take control of someone else’s computer and use it for cryptomining without their consent. This is often kicked off by enticing the victim to click on a malicious link in an email that loads malicious code on the computer or by infecting a website or online ad with malicious code that auto-executes once loaded in the victim’s browser. There were 51.1 million cryptojacking hacks in the first half of 2021, a 23% increase over the same period the year before.
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What is Cryptomining?
Cryptocurrency mining or cryptomining is a way to gain new cryptocurrency by harvesting it instead of buying it on an exchange. It is a competitive process because cryptocurrency is a finite resource. Cryptocurrency miners verify and add new transactions to the blockchain using the proof-of-work (PoW) method. The person who owns the miner that verifies a new find first is rewarded with some amount of the currency and/or transaction fees. Cryptomining consumes a great deal of energy and computing power, and unfortunately for businesses, these folks prefer to use someone else’s resources to do it.
One of the most common ways for cryptominers to secretly deploy their bots is to spread them through malware that can be embedded in a website, attached to an app or sent in an email phishing attack. Cryptomining is almost inevitably tied to cybercrime in some way because it is an intrusion in your company’s IT environment, an access point that your security team does not control. That means that if cybercriminals successfully deploy bots called cryptominers in a network, they’ve essentially opened themselves a backdoor into a company’s environment that they can use at any time.
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How Can I Protect My Company?
When you read about cryptocurrency-related cybercrime like cryptojacking and cryptomining and most other forms of cryptocurrency fraud, you’ll quickly notice a common element: phishing. Protecting your company from phishing is essential to reduce the chance of falling victim to today’s nastiest cyberattacks like cryptomining or even ransomware. You need strong email security – and you can get it at a great price.
Enter Graphus. This email security powerhouse uses AI to keep phishing emails away from user inboxes automatically. Automated email security is 40% more effective at spotting and stopping dangerous phishing messages than traditional email security or a SEG and Graphus makes it surprisingly affordable for any business. You’ll benefit from:
- A powerful guardian that protects your business from some of today’s nastiest email-related threats like cryptomining, spear-phishing, business email compromise, ransomware and other horrors.
- The power of TrustGraph, our patented technology that uses AI to compare more than 50 separate data points to analyze incoming messages and spot illegitimate messages quickly and efficiently before they land in anyone’s inbox.
- A solution that uses machine learning to add information to its knowledge base with every analysis it completes to continually refine your protection and keep learning without human intervention.