Bitcoin price boom poses threat to US economy
In order to track cyber attacks using cryptocurrency, the US Federal Bureau of Investigation carries out its own analysis of bitcoin price dynamics. Its reviews are published on an irregular basis, which is why they deserve particular attention. Thus, according to the latest report, bitcoin’s rally puts the US economy at risk.
The agency has found that ransomware attacks on US companies have already become a serious threat to the world's largest economy. Their number has mounted as the world’s first cryptocurrency has rallied. High cryptocurrency prices contribute to bolstering cyber criminal networks, the report says. "In the last six months, we have not seen a decrease in the amount of frequency of reporting of ransomware attacks. We attribute that to the simple fact that it’s incredibly lucrative for the criminals. That’s partially due to the valuation of virtual currency, but it’s partially due to the vulnerability of our systems and in our infrastructure," Bryan Vorndran, assistant director of the FBI’s Cyber Division, said.
Hackers use ransomware to lock and encrypt a victim's computer or device data and then demand a ransom to restore access. As a rule, they ask users to pay in BTC, since digital money can be transferred to an anonymous wallet, indicating only the recipient's account. Sometimes the FBI returns some of the ransom to affected companies, but such cases are extremely rare. For example, this summer, the FBI managed to track and seize 64 bitcoins worth $2.3 million from criminals and then transfer them to Colonial Pipeline. Besides, in November, the US Department of Justice announced that it had arrested alleged members of the REvil ransomware group - Ukrainian Yaroslav Vasinskyi and Russian Yevgeniy Polyanin.