Blockchain security firms alerted crypto investors to mind sophisticated phishing scams that exploiters could deploy in 2024. Security experts from various firms warn that crypto thieves will likely deploy more persuasive scams powered by artificial intelligence (AI).
The blockchain security firms warned that attackers targeting crypto could leverage AI-powered scams to exploit the smart contract vulnerabilities in 2024. Security analysts consider that BRC-20 exploits, vulnerabilities in smart contracts, and AI-powered phishing scams pose the greatest threats to crypto investors and projects.
Crypto Investors Warned of AI-Aided Exploits in 2024
Certik’s blockchain analyst Jesse Leclere considers that though the industry faces heightened vulnerability to AI-aided exploits, proactive measures and timely detection restricted the loss to $1.7 billion. The blockchain analyst considers the figure an undeniable improvement to restrict hack and scam-related losses in 2023 compared to a $4 billion loss in the last year.
Leclere warns that scams will only become more sophisticated in 2024 as criminal actors turn to AI for facilitated execution. The analyst urged users to exercise hyper-vigilance to detect and resist the well-executed exploits targeting their crypto.
The Certik’s analyst warns that the capabilities of evolving phishing schemes were evident in 2023. Leclere noted that sophisticated phishing schemes have broadened their targets to include individuals and corporate systems.
Leclere illustrated the emergence of sophisticated social engineering tactics customized to the crypto ecosystem. The executive pointed to December 14, when a phishing attack on staff’s Ledger Connect account was a prime illustration of the advanced attack.
Blockchain security firms are concerned with generative AI usage, transforming phishing scams into nefarious cases. Leclere demonstrated that generative AI could assist exploiters in automating operations. Its use could deliver persuasive fake calls, texts, and videos likely to ensnare multiple victims.
0xScope’s research analyst Jenny Peng forewarns crypto users that AI will likely constitute a critical component that cybercriminals could utilize to generate more realistic deep fakes to fool unsuspecting users.
Peng believes that the burgeoning BRC-20 ecosystem could draw the attention of hackers in 2024. The research analyst decries that BRC-20 could attract exploiters given its relatively inadequate security developments.
Peng reflected on the BRC-20 UniSat wallet unveiled at the onset of 2023, only to suffer a double-spend exploit. The analyst termed the incident as indicative of the need for the BRC-20 ecosystem to evolve the infrastructure and match the battle-tested Ethereum’s security.
Crypto Industry Susceptible to Vulnerability in Cross-chain Bridges
Leclere decried that the crypto industry would still have the long-standing vulnerability in 2024 of cross-chain bridges remaining an easier target for exploiters. While the industry edges closer toward cross-chain solutions to realize greater interoperability, the protocols reliant on the cross-bridges are a primary target for attackers.
Leclere tipped that hackers will likely exploit vulnerabilities that would surface during the complex interactions featuring various chains and protocols.
Leclere stated that most of the crypto sector’s prominent hacks arise from the bridge exploits. The security expert illustrates that the Ronin bridge exploit was the worst, resulting in a $650 million loss.
The failure to execute enhanced security upgrades within the cross-chain leaves such vulnerabilities unresolved concerns for the industry in 2024.
Chainalysis head of investigations Phil Larratt shared similar caution to the crypto projects and investors. The experienced investigator highlighted that bad actors will become increasingly adept at concealing and retaining their ill-gotten proceeds.
Heighten Knowledge Sharing Blend with Intense Investigations to Overcome Exploits
Larrat warns that illicit actors will likely deploy sophisticated techniques in 2024. Such a trend will surface as a dominant channel for the established organized criminals now adopting crypto alongside the financial crime actors.
Larrat noted that hackers and scammers know the advanced knowledge that law enforcement and security firms possess. Such awareness could compel the scammers and illicit actors to switch to privacy coins, mixers, and bridges, among several obfuscation tools to conceal their ill-gotten gains.
Blockchain security firms urge law enforcement to conduct intense investigations, heightening training and initiatives to share knowledge. Eradicating the vice would need to roll out advanced fraud protection initiatives blended with public-private sector partnerships.
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