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Losses due to ransomware in 2021 already exceed 60 thousand bitcoins

According to data from the Ransomwhere platform, the cybercriminals responsible for the ransomware attacks have obtained around 60 thousand bitcoins for ransom payments during 2021.

Ransomwhere is a new collaborative platform launched by Jack Cable, security architect at cybersecurity consultancy Krebs Stamos Group, which helped protect electoral systems ahead of the 2020 U.S. presidential election.

This tool maintains a continuous tally of ransoms paid in bitcoin to hackers. The data is obtained largely due to the transparent nature of the network, which records all transactions on the blockchain. In this way, it acts as a large public ledger that allows anyone to trace any transaction, including those associated with ransomware groups.

Graph of ransomware attacks for which the highest ransom has been paid. Source: Ransomwhere.

The payments reflected in the image above show that the operators behind the REvil or Sodinokibi ransomware top the list with over $ 10 million for data theft. The third place is occupied by the group of malicious hackers known as DarkSide, who have obtained around USD 4 million. These are responsible for the recent attack on the US pipeline.

Ransomware is a type of malware that compromises computing devices and hijacks your information. The attackers then request a cryptocurrency ransom as extortion for handing back the data and avoiding major damage. The term is an acronym for the words ransom (ransom) and software.

A ransomware attack can be directed at both companies and individuals, although the latter modality is usually less frequent. As we have previously reported in CriptoNoticias, financial losses from ransomware so far this year double those of 2020, and even after paying, the recovery rate for encrypted data is 65%, according to a study by computer security company Sophos.

Last month, Barracuda Networks, a security company, reported that the volume of cyberattacks, including ransomware, has increased by almost 200% between October 2020 and May 2021, when the price of Bitcoin had a bullish period.

Graph of the relationship between the value of Bitcoin and the increase in cyberattacks.

The Ransomwhere tool makes this data publicly available for anyone to consult. Being a collaborative collaborative platform, it incorporates data from self-reported incidents of ransomware attacks that anyone submits. On your site too you can find the registered addresses that have been used by cybercriminals so far.

According to its page, to make sure it is real data, it asks the informant for a screenshot of the ransomware demand for payment, and each case is thoroughly reviewed before being available to the public. However, they warn that it is impossible to guarantee 100% the veracity of the information.

Global union against ransomware attacks

The high rate of ransomware attacks this year has led the group of the world’s largest economies, the G7, to come together to take action together to fight against these types of cyber attacks. The United States has been one of the most affected countries.

Graph showing the increase in ransomware from January to June 2021.

According to a report from security firm Kaspersky, the hasty implementation of remote work solutions made companies less secure. Kaspersky also noted in its 2021 Financial Threats report that this would be a year with a high rate of cyberattacks.

In countries like the United Kingdom it has been considered the ban on insurers to cover payments in bitcoin to cybercriminals. The proposal by Diaran Martin, a former official at Britain’s National Cyber ​​Security Center, argues, as does the US Office of Foreign Assets Control, that these payments encourage criminals to continue with more attacks.

Some countries have expressed that the attacks that have been perpetrated in their nations are the responsibility of Russian military agencies. In past days, United States President Joe Biden ordered a federal investigation for another ransomware attack that affected the Kaseya company, which provides IT consulting to more than 200 companies in the United States and other countries.

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