Kaspersky Experts Assess The Biggest Cyberthreats In Crypto For 2022

Don’t read this Kaspersky report if you’re prone to paranoia. The cybersecurity experts and antivirus manufacturers released its annual “Cyberthreats to financial organizations” paper and two items are about cryptocurrencies. Prepare to be spooked. The report begins with an evaluation of last year’s predictions and they were only wrong about one, and not by much. Plus, this year’s cyberthreats sound very much like a possibility. Luckily, you found this article and can prepare yourself accordingly. 

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Both Cybercriminals And State-Sponsored Actors Will Target Cryptocurrencies

First, Kaspersky paints the picture and gives us the least scary threat:

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“The cryptocurrency business continues to grow, and people continue to invest their money in this market because it’s a digital asset and all transactions occur online. It also offers anonymity to users. These are attractive aspects that cybercrime groups will be unable to resist.”

And then, Kaspersky makes our skin crawl:

“And not only cybercrime groups but also state-sponsored groups who have already started targeting this industry.”

As the honeypot grows, criminals will be increasingly attracted to cryptocurrencies. That much we can deal with. However, the state-sponsored groups are also a logical progression. How could they not target cryptocurrencies? And they’re going to use much more sophisticated methods to get at you. For example:

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The people behind Pokémon GO recently partnered with Bitcoin rewards card Fold App to make a Bitcoin-themed Pokémon GO clone that pays in BTC. We have no idea if what this Twitter user says holds any water, but the whole enterprise does sound suspicious. And in light of this prediction by Kaspersky, even more so.

However, just to be clear, NewsBTC knows nothing about Niantic Labs and the Fold App. Do your own research.

BTCUSD price chart for 11/26/2021 - TradingView

BTC price chart for 11/26/2021 on Oanda | Source: BTC/USD on TradingView.com

Manufacturing Fake Devices With Backdoors

Once again, Kaspersky makes us rethink our security methods:

“While some people consider it risky to invest in cryptocurrencies, those who do realize that their wallet is the weakest link. While most infostealers can easily steal a locally stored wallet, a cloud-based one is also susceptible to attacks with the risk of losing funds. Then there are hardware-based cryptocurrencies wallets. But the question is, are there sufficiently reliable and transparent security assessments to prove that they are safe?”

However, their prediction is much more concerning:

“In the scramble for cryptocurrency investment opportunities, we believe that cybercriminals will take advantage of fabricating and selling rogue devices with backdoors, followed by social engineering campaigns and other methods to steal victims’ financial assets.”

There are already horror stories about dubious software wallets that end up in lost funds. And yeah, fake hardware wallets seem to be a logical next frontier. Just this year, following the Ledger hack, reports of weird-looking Ledger wallets took over the Internet. However, if a more sophisticated criminal made a better-looking device, it could wreak havoc through the cryptocurrency community.

And if Kaspersky says it will happen…

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Kaspersky Identifies Even More Cyberthreats

The “Cyberthreats to financial organizations” contains a few more items that aren’t fully related to cryptocurrencies, but may be of interest to all of you. They predict “an exponential growth in infostealers,” and a rise in ransomware from “small regionally derived groups.” Plus, data breaches in Open Banking, Mobile Banking Trojans, and identify risk in remote workers using company equipment for entertainment purposes. Read the whole thing and be prepared for everything.

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Fold Launches First-Ever AR With Free Bitcoin Rewards Experience

Fold is a bitcoin rewards app providing a gift card platform used to help spend bitcoin in the real world. The app offers bitcoin cashback via its Visa debit card and mobile application. Its customers can earn bitcoin on everything they do: spending, saving, and investing.

Cardholders can win up to 100% back on every purchase, or even a whole bitcoin. It was founded in 2014 by Chris Martin, Corbin Pon, Matt Luongo, Will Reeves. The leading bitcoin rewards and payments app, Fold, made an announcement yesterday.

Fold Unveils AR Bitcoin Rewards Experience

In recent years, gamification in crypto has been on the rise. In this press release, the company announced that its augmented reality feature is launching alongside a free plan for their Bitcoin Rewards Debit Card. Fold’s augmented reality feature allows users to earn bitcoin and in-app benefits by exploring their physical surroundings. The popular bitcoin rewards startup is using AR in a bid to make crypto fun for the masses. “Instead of finding rare creatures in the world around you, like in the hit game Pokemon Go, Fold users will now be able to discover and collect bitcoin around them.”

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Will Reeves, Fold CEO, stated, “The Fold AR feature provides a fun, interactive way for consumers to earn rewards in bitcoin for their everyday spending. So many people are interested in participating in the growing bitcoin economy but aren’t sure how to get started. Fold makes it easy for anyone to get their first piece of bitcoin, whether it’s through Fold AR via the app or the Fold card.”

Later this month, users will be able to access the AR experience for a limited time every day. The app will give away approximately $100,000 worth of bitcoin during the current beta period. But according to Reeves, the number would fluctuate in future months depending on sponsorship and user interaction levels.

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Likening the new launch to Pokemon Go, Fold’s Head of Design, Rachel Mersky, commented: “Pokemon Go was a phenomenon, it was really the first of its kind to bring augmented reality into the homes & lives of everyday people, turning the whole physical world into a game arena. We always say we want to meet our users where they are, whether they are bitcoin maximalists or curious newbies. What better way to do that than to literally bring bitcoin to wherever they are — and make earning and stacking sats fun?”

Bitcoin Chart from TradingView.com

Bitcoin Chart from TradingView.com

Bitcoin trails $45,000 with market decline | Source: BTCUSD on TradingView.com

Free Debit Card Activation

The company also announced the removal of all signup and activation fees associated with their Spin (formerly Intro) debit card. It stated that “All US residents can now get started with the Fold Card for free by signing up for the Spin tier that rewards up to 25% back in bitcoin on every purchase.”

Featured image from CryptoSlate, Chart from TradingView.com


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