Ransomware payments fall to USD456.8 mn in 2022
According to the latest Crypto Crime Report by blockchain analysis firm Chainalysis, total ransomware revenue in 2022 fell to its lowest in three years. And while attackers still received at least$456.8 million, this represents a huge 40.3 percent drop from their ransomware earnings in 2021, which amounted to $765.6 million.
Read more: Does it pay to pay ransomware? It depends
The drop in payments does not necessarily mean there has been a drop in attacks, said the report. “The evidence suggests that the decline in attacker revenues is due to victims’ increasing unwillingness to pay their ransom demands rather than a drop in the actual number of attacks. This reluctance can be attributed to a number of factors, ranging from more widespread utilization of solutions such as backup and recovery that mitigate the impact of attacks to a fear of running afoul of government regulations that prohibit the payment of ransoms to organizations that are potentially affiliated with sanctioned nations and groups,” said Kim Grauer, Director of Research, Chainalysis.
The researchers were also able to shine a spotlight on the techniques that ransomware attackers are using to launder their illicit earnings. The share of ransomware funds going to mainstream cryptocurrency exchanges grew from 39.3 percent in 2021 to 48.3 percent in 2022, while the share going to high-risk exchanges fell from 10.9 percent to 6.7 percent. Usage of illicit services such as darknet markets for ransomware money laundering also decreased, while usage of mixers – services that blend cryptocurrencies of many users together to obfuscate the origins and owners of the funds – increased from 11.6 percent to 15 percent, the analysis observed.
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