The US government hearing showed a major jump for online crime since COVID-19 took over in 2020.
On June 16, Emanuel Cleaver, the Representative and Subcommittee Chair of US House, said in his opening statements of the virtual hearing before the Subcommittee on National Security, International Development, and Monetary Policy:
“We are seeing a 75% spike in daily cybercrimes, reported by the FBI since the start of the pandemic.”
However, after COVID-19 prevention measures caused business closures and shelter-in-place orders in mid-March, many companies looked to remote work. As droves of people increased their web activity, hackers saw more opportunities. For example, amidst the newfound need for online meetings, popular video meeting platform Zoom suffered widespread data leaks.
Tom Kellermann, the head of the Cybersecurity Strategy of VMware, singled out the finance industry by noting a 238% uptick in related digital crime between January and May 2020.
“This is compounded by the 900% increase in ransomware attacks.”
It has been analyzed that after noting a number of ways nefarious parties have preyed on victims, Kellermann mentioned an uptick in crypto exchange hacks and leaks. Also, he explained that parties use these venues as a means of laundering money, in tandem with the dark web and anonymous digital assets.
“Dark web forums enabled by anonymous virtual currencies have created a bazaar for criminals and organized crime to reach a global market.”
“Many of these payment systems and cryptocurrencies offer true or relative anonymity. This raises the necessity of increased regulation of digital money.”
Thus, in combination with a number of other points, Kellermann posited increased regulation as a possible solution, mentioning several proposed regulatory actions.