Europol cryptocurrency cybercrime warning

With the rise of investors’ appetite for digital currencies, regulators note that the criminal world’s interest in cryptocurrencies is also surging. One of the latest watchdogs to warn investors against the risks of cryptocurrency darkweb usage – the primary law enforcement agency of the EU. We discuss the details of the Europol cryptocurrency cybercrime warning. What do you need to know?

5 October, The key law enforcement agency of the European Union, Europol, has warned the public about risks related to some of the cryptocurrencies. The authority claims that such digital currencies, as Zcash, Monero, and Ethereum are being used more often these days in the digital underground market. Moreover, Europol has highlighted that the number one currency for cybercrime is still Bitcoin.

Europol Cryptocurrency Cybercrime Warning: IOCTA Report Details

Europol has reiterated that the darknet is developing at a high pace. Its 2017 Internet Organised Crime Threat Assessment (IOCTA) report has stressed the key points about the evolving cybercrime world.

The legal authority has concluded that Monero is gaining darkweb popularity rapidly. This is due to the fact that its “additional security and privacy features” making it an easy cryptocurrency for criminals. The official report states:

“Cryptocurrencies continue to be exploited by cybercriminals, with Bitcoin being the currency of choice in criminal markets, and as payment for cyber-related extortion attempts, such as from ransomware or a DDoS attack. However, other cryptocurrencies such as Ethereum, Monero and Zcash are gaining popularity within the digital underground”.

Furthermore, the report of Europol has outlined the key reasons why cryptocurrencies become popular among criminals:

“Transactions cannot be attributed to any particular user/address, all coins used in a transaction are ‘hidden’ by default, and transaction histories are kept private.”

More Insights in the IOCTA Report

Europol further concentrates on the popularity of cryptocurrencies on the darkweb marketplace. For instance, the authority refers to the case of a Monero-focused ransomware “Kirk”.

Talking about Ethereum, Europol stated that smart contracts based on this digital currency could be used to legalize crime service provider payments. Moreover, the agency has presented a case of a proposed decentralized darknet market that is created to operate on the Ethereum Blockchain.

In addition, the document has stressed that Europol still plans to investigate the Zcash. Also, darknet marketplaces are eyeing this digital currency, according to the report. Europol refers to Zcash privacy features as a key reason for the boosted interest.

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