Rising bitcoin and cryptocurrency prices, making crypto over $1 trillion markets, attracted many cyber criminals this year.
Bitcoin-demanding social media-based crypto scams and ransomware attacks resulted in many users losing billions of dollars into digital assets.
Now, the FBI – the Federal Bureau of Investigation warned cryptocurrency and bitcoin buyers, all exchange and payment platforms about the growing threat of criminals looking to steal crypto-assets and bitcoin.
Bleeping Computer reported the FBI alert for crypto users to be aware of phone sim swapping, crimes using technical support fraud, and identity theft.
Sim swapping is when the attacker asks a carrier to transfer a phone number to a new sim card. This gives them access to incoming calls and SMS messages. Tho scheme exploded in recent years, provoking guidance from the Federal Trade Commission and a warning from the FBI.
The increase in criminal activities targetting people holding digital currencies and bitcoin comes after the bitcoin price rose to around $66,000 per bitcoin, up from about $10,000 before crashing back last year. Bitcoin is currently trading at approximately $33,000. Other smaller cryptocurrencies, such as ethereum and the meme-based dogecoin, have seen even more significant price increases.
The FBI warned that cybercriminals target mainly third-party payment platforms and cryptocurrency users in this virtual asset industry. It results in considerable amounts of financial damage to victims.
The FBI also warned that law enforcement would struggle to recover once the stolen cryptocurrency arrives at attacker-controlled accounts.
The FBI advised all crypto and financial companies to check emails carefully and keep an eye on newly created accounts. At the same time, companies should pay attention to those buying cryptocurrencies using multi-factor authentication. It means that they have to access at least two accounts linked to the platform while avoiding downloading requests and unofficial company channels.