Hackers Have Received Over $81M in Crypto since January Due to Ransomware: Chainalysis Report
Blockchain and crypto analytic firm Chainalysis has released its mid-year findings, which show that ransomware victims have paid approximately $81 million worth of crypto this year.
The company noted that the $81 million figure is likely to rise in the coming days as more ransomware addresses are identified and, as such, the figure should be taken as a floor or base at the moment.
According to the report, about $406 million worth of cryptocurrency was paid to ransomware addresses last year, marking the highest ransomware payments in history since the advent of the cryptos. The report also noted that much of these funds are moved from the victim addresses using different mainstream exchanges with lax compliance standards and mixers.
Ransomware is defined as malicious software used to deny a victim’s access to their computer and related files unless they pay a certain amount, mostly in crypto, for the access to be reinstituted.
In the recent past, news about the ransomware attack of the Colonial Pipeline, a company serving about half of the petroleum market in the United States, has dominated the news in the country. Reportedly, Colonial Pipeline was forced to part ways with about $5 million worth of Bitcoin for their system to be unlocked. However, the group responsible for the attack known as DarkSide believed to be located in Russia, had its servers seized by authorities. The attack led to a massive shortage of gas in various petrol stations in the East Coast United States.
A report issued by blockchain analytic firm Elliptic showed that Darkside’s Bitcoin wallet received 75 BTC from Colonial Pipeline on May 8, just a few days before the energy firm resumed its operations. Similarly, Elliptic identified that the same wallet received a payment of Bitcoin worth $4.4 million from a European-based chemical firm, Brenntag, that also suffered a ransomware attack from Darkside.
The report by Chainalysis also notes that the average ransomware payments have risen drastically to about $54,000 so far, with some attackers asking for huge sums like $50 million demanded from Acer at the start of the year.