U.S. Congressional Committee: Cybercrime Rate Up 75% During COVID-19 Pandemic

In making opening remarks during a U.S. House of Representatives meeting on illegal digital activities, Representative and Subcommittee Chairman Emanuel Cleaver (D-MO) noted a significant increase in cybercrime in 2020.

„We are seeing a 75% increase in daily cyber crimes, according to FBI reports since the beginning of the pandemic,“ Cleaver said in his opening remarks at the June 16 virtual hearing before the Subcommittee on Homeland Security, International Development and Monetary Policy.

CipherTrace: Nearly $1.4 Billion in Crypts Stolen in First Five Months of 2020

Recent attacks in specific sectors are discussed
After COVID-19 prevention measures caused business closures in mid-March, many companies sought to work remotely. As a large number of people were more present on the web, hackers saw more opportunities. Amidst a new need for virtual meetings, for example, the popular Zoom video meeting platform suffered widespread data leaks.

VMware’s head of cyber security strategy, Tom Kellermann, solicited comments as a witness at the meeting and highlighted the financial industry, noting a 238% increase in related digital crimes between January and May 2020. „This is compounded by the 900% increase in ransomware attacks,“ he added.

Hackers increasingly rely on Trojans to implement ransomware attacks

Kellermann observed a connection with crypto
After noting several ways in which gangs have taken advantage of victims, Kellerman spoke about increased attacks and data leakage at cryptoexchanges. He also explained that these means are used for money laundering, along with deep web crime and anonymous digital assets.

„The darknet forums enabled by anonymous virtual currencies have created a nest for cybercriminals and organized crime to reach a global marketplace,“ Kellerman said, and he also mentioned „extremist organizations.

Law enforcement is beginning to make criminals doubt the dark web
VMware’s head of cyber security added:

„Many of the payment systems with crypto currencies offer true or relative anonymity. This raises the need for greater regulation of digital money.

In combination with a number of other points, Kellermann suggested further regulation as a possible solution, citing several proposed regulatory actions.

Transactions on Bitcoin Revolution mostly require a pseudonym, depending on the source of purchase. However, in most cases, the public can track Bitcoin more easily than cash. Although Kellermann singled out digital assets for their anonymity, many assets produce traceability. Anonymous crypto-currencies, such as Monero and Zcash, promote additional privacy-focused features, but are often misunderstood. Recent research shows the lack of proper use of anonymity by criminals.