The Federal Bureau of Investigation has reaffirmed its concerns about cryptocurrencies when it comes to cybersecurity and extortion. In a Bloomberg virtual panel discussion on cybersecurity, Bryan Vorndran, assistant director of the FBI’s Cyber Division, discussed the Bureau’s views on crypto and extortion.
In the virtual panel discussion, Vorndran acknowledged that blockchain offers benefits, but he also raised various concerns, including that cryptocurrency is the principal currency and mechanism for extortion payments. It’s the town’s only game. We all know that the blockchain provides us with some benefits, but the ability to pay crypto and write it into a tumbler immediately, whether through extortion or theft, is a tremendous, huge difficulty for us.
Ransomware groups and rogue organizations have begun to use cryptocurrency to carry out their ransomware operations, with the criminal hacker group DarkSide and Colonial Pipeline committing the greatest ransomware hack of 2021.
The FBI released a report last week detailing the surge in online romance scams and statistics demonstrating the link between cryptocurrency and “romance scammers.” According to the survey, romance scams cost $64 million last year, with cryptocurrencies accounting for a portion of that figure.
The FBI in San Francisco has noticed an uptick in romance scammers convincing people to send money to invest in or trade crypto. After winning the victim’s faith and trust, the scammer then sends the victim to a bogus website or application for an investment opportunity.
Regulation and consumer protection in the United States have risen in tandem with the growth of the cryptocurrency business. Because of the volatility of cryptocurrency and how certain dark web groups have abused the untraceability of cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, federal authorities like the FBI have issued suggestions on how people might avoid cryptocurrency frauds.