International authorities have found in Monero a private fortress, as far as digital currencies are concerned. A senior Europol analyst, Jerek Jakubcek, let him know in the middle of the discussion he led from the Europol European Cybercrime Center.
Thanks to the experienced boom in privacy cryptocurrencies within the digital criminal activity, the most important security agencies worldwide have been closely monitoring their development.
During the Europol seminar, broadcast online from The Hague, Jakubcek compared the traceability of Bitcoin transactions with those made by Monero users. Under ordinary conditions, when using a conventional web browser, transactions traded in BTC can be tracked completely, from point to point.
Queen of illegal mining
In reality, Monero’s bad reputation began to take off after cryptocurrency mining malware spread widely. According to the security software firm Check Point, cryptojacking affected 10% more companies in 2019 than those who were victims of ransomware.
In cryptojacking, hackers infect computers with hidden mining malware, extracting digital currencies using the computer’s CPU without the user noticing. Monero, which is a relatively easy cryptocurrency to undermine, is still preferred for these cases.
In fact, a joint study between King’s College in London and Carlos III University in Madrid revealed that approximately 4.5 percent of Monero’s coins in circulation come from illegal mining caused by cryptojacking.
This is consistent with what was reported by the eSentire firm in its Threat Intelligence report. According to them, illegal mining activity by cryptojacking registered an increase of 1,500 percent in 2018 compared to the year that preceded it.
The company estimates that this was due, in part, to the ease with which hidden mining software can be purchased online (USD 35, on average).
Digital currency trading exchanges are required to link the accounts they handle to a verified identity most of the time.
In this way, the hidden path taken by Monero’s transactions is exposed to an investigation. The authorities face what is an opacity problem for them, when operations are carried out equally.