The united police service of the European Union notes the growing interest of cybercriminals and terrorists in cryptocurrencies and cryptojacking, but admits that no terrorist act has so far been financed via cryptocurrencies.

Criminals are increasingly abusing cryptocurrencies to finance their activities, Europol said in the report titled 'Internet Organized Threat Assessment 2018'. Curiously, hackers frequently use the same tools against cryptocurrency services that were previously targeted at traditional banks and financial organizations.

One of the most common methods of stealing cryptocurrency is social engineering. According to Europol, it is necessary to increase the public awareness, inform users of cryptocurrencies about how they should store and protect their personal data. Law enforcement authorities need to monitor and maintain close contact with cryptocurrency services registered on their territories, such as crypto exchanges, mining pools and operators of cryptocurrency wallets.

"Investigating cryptocurrencies must become a core skill for cybercrime investigators," the report says.

Cryptojacking is called one of the main cybercriminal trends. The authors of the report note that the cryptojacking is a relatively new term that describes the process of using the computing power of a device for crypto mining purposes without notifying its owner and without obtaining permission from him for this activity. Most often, hidden mining uses the scripts built in the websites that mine Monero. The main risk of this fraud is the increased load on the device's processors, which can lead to its faster failure, aging or even fire.

Europol pays special attention to the use of cryptocurrencies in terrorism.

"Cryptocurrencies represent a source of opportunity for terrorist groups, allowing them to move funds across borders while avoiding the regular banking scrutiny. While the Islamic State saw the benefits of cryptocurrencies as early as 2014, it was not until the end of 2017 that IS sympathizers triggered mass cryptocurrency (Bitcoin and the more anonymous Zcash) donation campaigns in IS affiliated websites as well as in chat environments (e.g, Telegram) to support their cause," the report says.

Still, Europol notes that, currently, cryptocurrencies are not very popular in terrorist groups. And so far, no terrorist act in Europe has been funded using cryptocurrencies.

Europol also predicts that in the future criminals will use smart contracts to attack cryptocurrency systems, to create fraudulent schemes, and to pay briberies.