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. 

Related Reading | Hackers Nab $16 Million In BTC Through Bitcoin Wallet Exploit

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…

Related Reading | DeFi Hack: Vee Finance Losses $35 Million To Hackers Following Mainnet Launch

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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Valued at $9B, Pokemon Go creator to build metaverse with fresh funding

Niantic, the popular augmented reality (AR) mobile game Pokemon Go developer, is planning to build a “real-world” metaverse with newly raised funding.

The company officially announced Monday the completion of a $300 million raise from the technology-focused investment manager Coatue, bringing the company’s valuation to $9 billion.

Coatue is known as a major investor in the cryptocurrency and blockchain industry, backing companies like blockchain intelligence firm Chainalysis, cryptocurrency startup Fireblocks, blockchain security firm CertiK and others. The firm has also recently participated in a $555 million funding round for cryptocurrency fintech startup MoonPay.

“Niantic is building a platform for AR based on a 3D map of the world that we believe will play a critical role in the next transition in computing,” Coatue’s general partner Matt Mazzeo said. “We are excited to partner with Niantic because we see this infrastructure supporting a metaverse for the real world and helping to power the next evolution of the internet,” he added.

Niantic did not explicitly say that its metaverse would implement any aspects of the blockchain technology, nonfungible tokens (NFT) or cryptocurrencies.

“We’re building a future where the real world is overlaid with digital creations, entertainment and information, making it more magical, fun and informative,” Niantic’s founder and CEO John Hanke said.

Unlike Facebook, which rebranded to Meta in October to signal its commitment to virtual reality development, Niantic reportedly wants to develop technology that brings people closer to the outside world. “At Niantic, we believe humans are the happiest when their virtual world leads them to a physical one. Unlike a sci-fi metaverse, a real-world metaverse will use technology to improve our experience of the world as we’ve known it for thousands of years,” Hanke said.

Niantic and Coatue did not immediately respond to Cointelegraph’s request for comment.

Related: Why are major global brands experimenting with NFTs in the Metaverse?

Launched in 2016, Niantic’s Pokemon Go is one of the most successful mobile games of all time, reportedly crossing the $5 billion revenue mark earlier this year. Some players in the blockchain industry got inspired by Pokemon Go, with the firm IoTeX introducing its “Pebble Go” project, aiming to incorporate real-world data to NFTs using verifiable GPS information.