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KASPERSKY DETECTS OVER 1,500 FRAUDULENT ENTITIES FOCUSED ON CRYPTO INVESTORS

Russian cybersecurity agency Kaspersky has issued an analysis that detected greater than 1,500 fraudulent entities concentrating on potential crypto investors and miners just in the first half of 2021.

Kaspersky’s analysis reveals that 0.60% of customers from South African countries have already been targeted by malicious cryptocurrency miners. The report also suggests that the most typical strategies of duping unwary customers concerned false commercials claiming to promote mining gear and faux web sites posing as crypto exchanges.

The data based on anonymized statistics revealed that 0.85% of cryptocurrency investors from Kenya and 0.71%  from Nigeria were targets of crypto-miner malware, while investors from Ethiopia (3.68%) and Rwanda (3.22%) faced the most number of threats in this regard. 

However, Bethwel Opil, Africa’s enterprise sales manager at Kaspersky, warned that the low percentages do not mean that the fraudulent entities threat is insignificant.

According to Opil, “Crypto-miner malware has been identified as one of the top 3 malware families rife in South Africa, Kenya and Nigeria at present, which we believe emphasizes that as cryptocurrency continues to gain momentum, more users will likely be targeted.”

Meanwhile, the report also suggests that the most common methods of duping unwary crypto investors involve false advertisements claiming to sell mining equipment and fake websites posing as crypto exchanges. 

These fraudulent platforms require users to make an upfront payment under the pretext of advanced payment or verification, after which the scammers stop responding. 

However, the head of content filtering methods development at Kaspersky, Alexey Marchenko said cybercriminals also make use of phishing platforms to gain access to users’ private keys of their crypto wallets.

Marchenko further added that both those who want to invest or mine cryptocurrency and simply the holders of such funds can find themselves on the fraudsters’ radar.

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