Collective Intelligence Podcast, Ian Gray on Criminal Usage of Cryptocurrency in Latin America
SAN FRANCISCO—Cybercriminals operating in many regions around the world have gravitated toward cryptocurrency as remittance payments for ransomware attacks, and to cash out of fraudulent activity, just to name two things.
Virtual currency affords criminals a measure of anonymity and convenience when cashing out, and that coupled with sometimes wildly fluctuating valuations around certain cryptocurrencies, has piqued interest among certain criminals.
In Latin America, an emerging region for cybercrime, criminals have only recently begun to demonstrate the same levels of interest in this type of activity that their Eastern European or Asia-Pacific counterparts have enjoyed for some time.
In this edition of the Collective Intelligence Podcast, recorded during RSA Conference 2019, Flashpoint Director of Americas Research and Analysis Ian Gray, discusses a talk he and Carles Lopez-Penalver co-presented on cybercriminal usage of cryptocurrency in Latin America.
Gray and Penalver focused their research on primarily Spanish-speaking countries such as Mexico, Colombia, and Argentina, and dissected how socio-economic issues affect adoption in the region, how criminals make fraudulent use of legitimate payment processors, the types of Deep & Dark Web activity happening that is related to popular cryptocurrencies, and what the immediate and long-term future holds for defenders in the region.
Throughout the podcast, Gray discusses the reasons behind the fact that while select Latin American cybercriminals have integrated cryptocurrency into operations, cryptocurrency remains a secondary option to legitimate payment processors for fraud.
Gray also discusses what types of conversations and how much activity focused on cryptocurrency is happening on the Spanish-speaking areas of the DDW. He also comes to some conclusions about future use of cryptocurrency in the region by cybercriminals, and what defenders in security and law enforcement need to do about it.
The Collective Intelligence Podcast, presented by Flashpoint and hosted by Editorial Director Mike Mimoso, features regular interviews with a diverse set of industry experts and Flashpoint analysts on the latest information security news and industry trends.
Michael Mimoso brings over a decade of experience in IT security news reporting to Flashpoint. As Editorial Director, he collaborates with marketing, analyst, and leadership teams to share the company’s story. Prior to Flashpoint, Mike was as an Editor of Threatpost, where he covered security issues and cybercrime affecting businesses and end-users.
Prior to joining Threatpost, Mike was Editorial Director of the Security Media Group at TechTarget and Editor of Information Security magazine where he won several ASBPE national and regional writing awards. In addition, Information Security was a two-time finalist for national magazine of the year. He has been writing for business-to-business IT publications for 11 years, with a primary focus on information security.
Earlier in his career, Mike was an editor and reporter at several Boston-area newspapers. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Stonehill College in North Easton, Massachusetts.