Security expert: cryptocurrencies pave the way for blackmail Trojans
The ability to receive anonymous payments via cryptocurrencies is seen as a major threat by a senior security expert.
Christopher Krebs, a former U.S. Department of Homeland Security official, is calling for stricter Crypto Invetsor oversight of cryptocurrencies, saying anonymous payments are a threat that „worries the average American.“
In an interview with the late-night show „Late Night with Bill Maher“, the former director of cybersecurity at „Homeland Security“ took a stand on Bitcoin.
„What about Bitcoin? Where is that going? Is it in their domain? I think it’s going to bring down civilisation, but maybe I just don’t get it,“ as host and comedian Bill Maher provocatively asked his guest.
„Cryptocurrencies, in my estimation, are a facilitating factor for the mass malware attacks on government agencies and offices,“ as Krebs agrees with this negative view. According to this, hackers could use cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin as an anonymous payment channel for captured or extorted funds. He adds: „The anonymous payments, the ability to pay anonymously. I think that’s fuelling the cybersecurity threat that the average American is concerned about.“
In this context, Maher points out that 1,600 schools have now already been hit by extortion Trojans. Krebs adds that „hospitals and government agencies have also been attacked.“ Hackers have already struck several times in cities and states such as Baltimore, Atlanta, North Carolina, Texas and Louisiana.
„They are simply in it for the money. There’s no deeper meaning behind it, no ideology,“ as the late-night host interjects. The comedian even draws parallels to the film „Die Hard“.
Security expert Krebs warns that the „bad guys“ could do whatever they wanted as long as there was no threat of consequences. Accordingly, he calls for crypto wallets to be monitored more closely. There would also have to be increased pressure on countries where foreign hackers are based in order to prevent attacks on American institutions.
Indeed, extortion Trojans in particular have become increasingly „popular“ among hackers in recent years
The use of cryptocurrencies as an anonymous means of payment is indeed causing an image problem for the industry. As a recent survey shows, only 43% of respondents see cryptocurrencies as a legitimate means of payment. A previous survey from 2020, meanwhile, found that 90% of participants are „concerned“ that cryptocurrencies are being used for money laundering.
Krebs gained notoriety in the US for vigorously disagreeing with Donald Trump’s theories around possible election fraud by the Democrats. For this reason, he was fired by the then president. The politician could now try to use his current popularity to get re-elected to office, which gives his massive criticism of cryptocurrencies an at least slightly insipid flavour.