Crypto ransom attack payments hit record $1 billion in 2023

Crypto ransom attack payments hit record $1 billion in 2023 – Chainalysis.



Physical representations of the bitcoin cryptocurrency are seen in this illustration taken October 24 2023. REUTERSDado RuvicIllustrationFile Photo

Crypto Ransom Attack Payments

This graphic, which was captured on October 24, 2023, shows images that are physical representations of the cryptocurrency known as bitcoin. Illustration by Dado Ruvic, courtesy of REUTERS/File Photo (Source: Reuters)Chainalysis, a blockchain analytics company, said on Wednesday that payments from crypto-related ransom attacks have quadrupled to a record $1 billion in 2023. During the previous year, con artists who targeted institutions including hospitals, schools, and government offices for ransom made $1.1 billion, which is a significant increase from the $567 million they made in 2022.

With that being stated, Chainalysis reported that losses resulting from other crypto-related crimes like as hacking and fraud decreased in the year 2023.

Because of the excitement around a new bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) in the United States and the indications that central banks across the globe would start reducing interest rates, the biggest cryptocurrency, bitcoin, has increased by sixty percent since the end of September, reaching $43,134.

According to Chainalysis, “the potential for high profits and lower barriers to entry attracted an increasing number of new players.”

Big Game Hunting

“Big game hunting” has become the dominant strategy over the last few years, with a dominant share of all ransom revenue volume made up of payments of $1 million or more, Chainalysis added.

Based on their manipulation of the file-sharing program MOVEit, a group of cybercriminals going by the handle “cl0p” received close to $100 million in ransom payments, according to the analytics firm.

The MOVEit software tool, which is typically used to transfer large amounts of often sensitive data, such as pension information and social security numbers, has been the subject of cybersecurity breaches that have been reported by one hundred different organizations. These organizations include government departments, the telecom regulator in the United Kingdom, and the energy giant Shell.

The criminal organization known as “Black Basta” was responsible for the extortion of at least 107 million dollars in bitcoin, according to a study that was published in November. A significant portion of the ransom money that were laundered were sent to the sanctioned cryptocurrency exchange in Russia known as Garantex.

Moreover, according to reports from the United Nations, North Korea obtains a large amount of cash from the theft of cryptocurrency via cyberheists and ransomware operations.

Due to the fact that Chainalysis primarily monitors bitcoin that is delivered to wallet addresses that have been recognized as being illegal, their findings undervalue the role that cryptocurrency plays in all forms of criminal activity. It excludes payments for crimes that are not connected to cryptocurrency, such as cryptocurrency that is utilized in drug trafficking transactions.

Reporting was done by Medha Singh in Bengaluru, while Saumyadeb Chakrabarty was in charge of editing.

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