Crypto Ransom Attack Payments to Reach Record $1 Billion in 2023: Chainalysis

Payments from crypto-related ransom attacks are set to nearly double to a record $1 billion (roughly Rs. 8,304 crore) in 2023, blockchain analytics firm Chainalysis said on Wednesday.

Scammers targeting institutions like hospitals, schools and government offices for ransom raked in $1.1 billion (roughly Rs. 9,133 crores) last year, while that is expected to hit $567 million (roughly Rs. 4,708 crores) in 2022.

However, losses from other crypto-related crimes such as scamming and hacking declined in 2023, Chainalysis said.

Bitcoin, the largest cryptocurrency, has jumped 60 per cent to $43,134 (roughly Rs. 35,81,500) since late September on enthusiasm over a new US Bitcoin ETF and signs that central banks around the world will start cutting interest rates.

“An increasing number of new players have been attracted by the prospect of high profits and low barriers to entry,” Chainalysis said.

“Big game hunting” has become the dominant strategy over the past few years, with payments of $1 million (roughly Rs. 8.3 crore) or more making up a major portion of all ransom revenue volumes, Chainalysis said.

A group of digital extortionists named “cl0p” destroyed file sharing software MOVEit and made nearly $100 million (roughly Rs. 830 crores) in ransom payments, the analytics company said.

Hundreds of organizations including government departments, the UK telecommunications regulator and energy giant Shell have reported cybersecurity breaches linked to the MOVEit software tool, commonly used to transfer large amounts of sensitive data, including pension information and Social Security numbers. goes.

A report in November revealed that the cybercrime group “Black Bag” had extorted at least $107 million in Bitcoin, with the majority of the looted ransom payment going to sanctioned Russian cryptocurrency exchange Garantex.

The theft of cryptocurrencies through cybercriminals and ransomware attacks is also an important source of funding for North Korea, according to a UN report.

Chainalysis’ data underestimates the role of crypto in all crimes because it only tracks cryptocurrencies sent to wallet addresses identified as illegal. This does not include payments for non-crypto-related crime such as crypto being used in drug trafficking deals.

© Thomson Reuters 2024

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(TagstoTranslate)Crypto Ransom Attack Payment Record USD 1 Billion 2023 Chainalysis Cryptocurrency

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