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Mikko Hyppönen at F-Secure shares predictions for 2022

December 2021 by Mikko Hypponen, Chief Research Officer chez F-Secure

Mikko Hyppönen, Chief Research Officer at F-Secure shares the following cyber security prediction for 2022: The rise and fall of ‘Cybercrime Unicorns’

‘It is now a reality that cybercrime gangs are as valuable as unicorn companies. Our enemy is becoming more powerful and wealthier.

There are two reasons why organised crime gangs are now becoming unicorns:

1) The amount of money being made with BEC scams, denial of service blackmail and ransomware has skyrocketed over the last 12 months.

2) Organised cybercrime gangs don’t like to keep their wealth in real-world currencies but prefer to keep it in cryptocurrencies.

No ‘cybercrime unicorns’ existed five years ago when I coined the term, but they were controlling around $10m or so in wealth. Over these 5 years, the value of bitcoin has increased from $500 to $50k so that age of cybercrime unicorn gangs has arrived.

However, unicorn hunting season is well underway, and we are seeing law enforcement take more action, bringing down organised crime gangs globally. The US State Department is also offering a $10m bounty for information leading to the arrest of at least two different ransomware gangs – so it will be interesting to see how many cybercrime unicorns there will be throughout 2022.’

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