Up to $200 Billion in Illegal Cybercrime Profits Is Laundered Each Year, Comprehensive Research Study Reveals
Cybercriminals turning to virtual currencies, video game currency and digital payment systems like PayPal to convert illegal revenue into clean cash
CUPERTINO, Calif., March 16, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Bromium®, Inc., the pioneer and leader in application isolation using virtualization-based security, today announced the findings of an independent, academic study into the macro economics of cybercrime and how cybercriminals launder and 'cash out' the profits of criminal endeavours. The findings are part of a larger nine-month study titled Into the Web of Profit, sponsored by Bromium. The full findings will be presented at the RSA Conference in April by Dr. Mike McGuire, Senior Lecturer in Criminology at Surrey University, England.
According to the report, cybercriminal proceeds make up an estimated 8-10 percent of total illegal profits laundered globally; amounting to an estimated $80-$200 billion each year 1. Other key findings include:
- Virtual currencies have become the primary tool used by cybercriminals for money laundering
- Cybercriminals are moving away from Bitcoin to less recognized virtual currencies, like Monero, that provide greater anonymity
- In-game purchases and currencies are spurring a rise in gaming-related laundering; as China and South Korea become hotspots for gaming-currency laundering
- Covert data collection found that PayPal and other digital payment systems are employed by cybercriminals to launder money
- Digital payment systems laundering often involves the use of micro-laundering techniques where multiple, small payments are made so laundering limits aren't triggered
"We invested in this research to instigate a meaningful conversation about how to disrupt the economic systems and poor security practices that enable cybercrime around the world; frankly because it's far too easy for them," commented Gregory Webb, CEO of Bromium. "Today it is easy for hackers to infect machines, steal data, and hold businesses and individuals for ransom or sell stolen IP because enterprise defences are not fit for purpose. It is equally easy for them to wash that money and convert it into cash - and the rise in use of unregulated, virtual currencies is making this even easier. We need to attack the problem in a different way. Law enforcement, the cybersecurity industry and both the public and private sectors need to be vigilant about disrupting cybercrime. Protecting applications that access sensitive data is an absolute requirement. We need a whole new approach to cybersecurity or these figures will continue to increase over time."
Virtual currency could be the future of laundering - but only if it's anonymous
Many cybercriminals are using virtual currency to make property purchases which convert illegal proceeds into legitimate cash and assets. Websites such as Bitcoin Real Estate offer everything from penthouse suites and lavish mansions, to 160-acre private islands, all with the option to buy using bitcoins. Unlike cash purchases which are subject to regulation and scrutiny, properties purchased with cryptocurrency are not as closely scrutinised because cryptocurrencies aren't regulated by any central banks or governments.
The study found that nearly 25 percent of total property sales are predicted to be in cryptocurrency in the next few years. This is concerning financial analysts who worry that allowing swifter, more covert transactions, many with criminal origins, will disrupt global property markets.
However, the report highlights that law enforcement agencies are now monitoring Bitcoin, causing many cybercriminals to look for alternatives. Information on bitcoin transactions can leak during web transactions - typically via web trackers or cookies. This means that connecting transactions to individuals is possible in up to 60 percent of Bitcoin payments.
Researcher and report author Dr. Mike McGuire, Senior Lecturer in Criminology at Surrey University, noted, "It's no surprise to see cybercriminals using virtual currency for money laundering. The attraction is obvious. It's digital, so is an easily convertible way of acquiring and transferring cybercrime revenue. Anonymity is also key, with platforms like Monero designed to be truly anonymous, and tumbler services like CoinJoin that can obscure transaction origins. Targeted organizations must do more to protect their customers."
Laundering through in-game currency and goods is on the rise
The report also indicates that cybercriminals are spending "considerable time" converting stolen income into video game currency or in-game items like gold, which are then converted into bitcoin or other electronic formats. Games such as Minecraft, FIFA, World of Warcraft, Final Fantasy, Star Wars Online and GTA 5 are among the most popular options because they allow covert interactions with other players that allow trade of currency and goods.
Dr. McGuire added, "Gaming currencies and items that can be easily converted and moved across borders offer an attractive prospect to cybercriminals. This trend appears to be particularly prevalent in countries like South Korea and China - with South Korean police arresting a gang transferring $38 million laundered in Korean games, back to China. The advice on how to do this is readily available online and explains how cybercriminals can launder proceeds through both in-game currencies and goods."
Digital payment systems are used to help hide the money trail
Covert data collection in online forums and interviews with experts and cybercriminals indicate that an estimated 10 percent of cybercriminals are using PayPal to launder money. A further 35 percent use other digital payment systems, including Skrill, Dwoll, Zoom, and mobile payment systems like M-Pesa.
Methods like 'micro laundering', where thousands of small electronic payments are made through platforms like PayPal, are increasingly common and more difficult to detect. Another common technique is to use online transactions - via sites like eBay - to facilitate the laundering.
Dr. McGuire concludes, "The growing use of digital payment systems by cybercriminals is creating significant problems for the global financial system. Revenues that previously would have flowed within proven and well-established banking systems and could be traced are now outside of its jurisdiction. Digital payment systems are most effective when combined with other digital resources, like virtual currencies and online banking. This hides the money trail and confuses law enforcement and financial regulators."
Further findings will be released during the RSA Conference in San Francisco. Dr. McGuire will present the full findings during his speaker speaking slot on April 20th from 09:00-09:45 AM on the Security Mashup track - code MASH-F01.
Into the Web of Profit is a nine-month academic study by Dr. Mike McGuire, Senior Lecturer in Criminology at Surrey University. It draws from first hand interviews with convicted cybercriminals, data from international law enforcement agencies, financial institutions, and covert observations conducted across the Dark Web.
About Bromium, Inc.
Bromium protects your brand, data and people using virtualization-based security. We convert an enterprise's largest liability - endpoints -- into its best defense. By combining our patented hardware-enforced containerization to deliver application isolation and control, with a distributed Sensor Network to protect across all major threat vectors and attack types, we stop malware in its tracks. Unlike traditional security technologies, Bromium automatically isolates threats and adapts to new attacks using behavioral analysis and instantly shares threat intelligence to eliminate the impact of malware. Bromium offers defense-grade security and counts a rapidly growing set of Fortune 500 companies and government agencies as customers.
Visit Bromium: https://www.bromium.comRead the Bromium blog: http://blogs.bromium.com/Follow Bromium on Twitter: https://twitter.com/bromiumFollow Bromium on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/bromium
About Dr. Mike McGuire
Dr. Michael McGuire joined the Department as Senior Lecturer in Criminology in September 2012. Dr. McGuire read Philosophy & Scientific method at the London School of Economics where he acquired a first-class BSc Econ and he completed his Ph.D., at Kings College London. He has subsequently developed an international profile in the study of technology and the justice system and has published widely in these areas. Contact: email@example.com
+44 20 7436 0420
United States - Commercial
United States - Public Sector
1 According to the UN, between $800 billion - $2 trillion is laundered every year https://www.unodc.org/unodc/en/money-laundering/globalization.html
The issuer of this announcement warrants that they are solely responsible for the content, accuracy and originality of the information contained therein.
Source: Bromium via Globenewswire
Följ NASDAQ OMX
Abonnera på våra pressmeddelanden.
Senaste pressmeddelandena från NASDAQ OMX
Immunicum AB (publ) Announces Appointment of Pawel Kalinski and Inge Marie Svane to Scientific Advisory Board17.9.2018 08:00 | Pressmeddelande
Press Release 17 September 2018 Immunicum AB (publ) Announces Appointment of Pawel Kalinski and Inge Marie Svane to Scientific Advisory Board Immunicum AB (publ; IMMU.ST) announced today the appointment of leading oncology experts to its Scientific Advisory Board with the addition of Pawel Kalinski, MD, PhD, Vice Chair for Translational Research within the Department of Medicine at Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center, and Inge Marie Svane, MD, PhD, Professor, Head of the Clinical Cancer Research programme, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Copenhagen, Director, Centre for Cancer Immunotherapy (CCIT), and consultant in Oncology, Herlev University Hospital. Both Scientific Advisory Board members will serve as a strategic resource to Immunicum as the company continues to advance the clinical development of its lead product, ilixadencel. "We are honored to have such highly specialized experts in the field of immuno-oncology and cell therapy join our Scientific Advisory Board a
Immunicum AB (publ) meddelar att Pawel Kalinski och Inge Marie Svane har valts in i det vetenskapliga rådet17.9.2018 08:00 | Pressmeddelande
Pressmeddelande 17 september 2018 Immunicum AB (publ) meddelar att Pawel Kalinski och Inge Marie Svane har valts in i det vetenskapliga rådet Immunicum AB (publ; IMMU.ST) meddelade i dag att två ledande immun-onkologiska experter har valts in i bolagets vetenskapliga råd för att fungera som strategiska resurser för Immunicum under bolagets fortsatta kliniska utveckling av sin ledande produkt, ilixadencel. Pawel Kalinski, MD, PhD, vice ordförande för translationell forskning vid den medicinska institutionen vid Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center, och Inge Marie Svane, MD, PhD, professor, chef för det kliniska cancerforskningsprogrammet på medicinska fakulteten vid Köpenhamns universitet, chef för Center för cancerimmunterapi (CCIT) samt överläkare inom onkologi, Herlevs universitetssjukhus har valts in i rådet. - Vi är hedrade att ha experter med specialistkompetens inom området immunonkologi och cellterapi i vårt vetenskapliga råd, vilka kan erbjuda ytterligare vägledning när det
Hoylu AB: HOYLU HIRES NEW CTO, SATOSHI NAKAJIMA AND ANNOUNCES EXPANSION INTO JAPAN14.9.2018 08:30 | Pressmeddelande
Malmo, Sweden, September 14, 2018 - Hoylu, a leading enterprise collaboration company, announced today Satoshi Nakajima will join Hoylu in the newly created position, as Chief Technology Officer and President of Hoylu Japan. Nakajima will guide the strategic technology direction and innovation of Hoylu while also leading the new Hoylu office in Tokyo, Japan. "Satoshi is a visionary and world-class technologist who has substantial experience in delivering world class innovations. He is joining the Company as we are extending our reach and expanding into Japan," said Stein Revelsby, CEO. "Satoshi's extensive experience in strategy and delivering technology that support a great user experience will make an immediate impact on the company." Nakajima will serve as President of Hoylu Japan and will report to Stein Revelsby. His leadership will strengthen customer relations and help develop new business among emerging and established Japanese companies while strengthening the global position
Hoylu AB: HOYLU ANSTÄLLER SATOSHI NAKAJIMA SOM NY CTO OCH EXPANDERAR TILL JAPAN14.9.2018 08:30 | Pressmeddelande
Malmö, Sverige, 14 september 2018 - Hoylu, ett ledande företag inom samarbetsmjukvara för företagsmarknaden annonserar idag att Satoshi Nakajima tar anställning som CTO (Chief Technology Officer) och President för Hoylu Japan. Nakajima kommer styra den strategiska inriktningen för företagets produkter och leda innovationsarbetet. Han kommer också leda Hoylus nyöppnade kontor i Tokyo, Japan. Satoshi är en visionär teknologiexpert som har stor erfarenhet av att skapa innovativa lösningar. Han kommer till Hoylu samtidigt som vi utökar marknaden till att även täcka in Japan säger Stein Revelsby, VD. "Satoshis långa och gedigna erfarenhet i strategiska frågor och tekniska lösningar med fokus på användarupplevelse kommer få stor betydelse för oss." Nakajima kommer även att bli President för Hoylu Japan och kommer rapportera till Stein Revelsby. Hans ledarskap kommer stärka existerande kundrelationer och utveckla nya affärer på den japanska marknaden och samtidigt bidra till att flytta fram p
LeoVegas AB: LeoVentures invests in esports betting - Pixel.bet13.9.2018 08:45 | Pressmeddelande
The LeoVegas Group, through its wholly owned investment company LeoVentures Ltd, has acquired 51% of the shares in Pixel Holding Group Ltd, which runs the esports betting operator Pixel.bet. The investment amounts to EUR 1.5 million for 51 percent of the company and is made through a new issue. Pixel.bet's vision is to create the greatest gaming experience in betting on esports www.pixel.bet "Esports is an international and fast-growing area that engages millions of viewers and players every month. With this investment in Pixel.bet we as a Group will gain unique insight into a new and fast-growing segment," comments Gustaf Hagman, LeoVegas' Group CEO and co-founder of LeoVegas Mobile Gaming Group. "In Pixel.bet we have found a passionate team of entrepreneurs who come from the esports community. With its strong technology and mobile-first gaming experience, Pixel.bet is a perfect match for the LeoVegas Mobile Gaming Group. Together we will drive development for the absolute premier exp
LeoVegas AB: LeoVentures investerar i esport betting - Pixel.bet13.9.2018 08:45 | Pressmeddelande
LeoVegas-koncernen har, genom sitt helägda investmentbolag LeoVentures Ltd förvärvat Pixel Holding Group Ltd, som driver esport betting operatören pixel.bet. Investeringen uppgår till 1,5 miljoner euro för 51 procent av bolaget och görs genom en nyemission. Pixel.bets vision är att skapa den främsta spelupplevelsen inom betting på esport www.pixel.bet "Esport är ett internationellt och snabbt växande område som engagerar miljontals tittare och utövare varje månad. Med investeringen i Pixel.bet får vi som koncern en unik inblick i ett nytt och snabbt växande segment.", säger Gustaf Hagman, Group CEO och co-founder av LeoVegas Mobile Gaming Group. "I Pixel.bet fann vi ett passionerat entreprenörsteam som verkligen kommer inifrån esport communityn. Med en riktigt bra teknik och spelupplevelse utvecklad mobile-first är det en perfekt match med LeoVegas Mobile Gaming Group. Tillsammans ska vi driva utveckling för den absolut främsta upplevelsen inom esport betting.", säger Robin Ramm-Ericso
I vårt pressrum kan du läsa de senaste pressmeddelandena, få tillgång till pressmaterial och hitta kontaktinformation.Besök vårt pressrum