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Ransomware Criminals Looted $350 Million So Far


Anyone who speculates that the blackmail scam of ransomware operators is slowly but surely going dead can hardly be more wrong. Last year, the criminals were able to steal new record sums.

Chainalysis has examined the blockchains of various cryptocurrency wallets that are related to ransomware campaigns. Because usually the ransom is demanded from the extortionists in the form of Bitcoin and other digital currencies. Since every transaction is traceable here, it is also possible to estimate how much money will ultimately be transferred to the criminals. And here you came up with an amount that, measured at the current exchange rates, amounts to a sum of 350 million dollars.

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This is a new record, which is by no means the result of slight growth. Rather, the revenues of the ransomware scene increased by 311 percent compared to the previous year. In 2019, the total ransom was far from breaking the $100 million mark. The background to this is a profoundly changed approach of the perpetrators.

More Could Come

Some time ago they worked more according to the principle of small animals: the encryption Trojans were spread in the message and among all the many victims there were always some who were willing to pay the required sum in the lower three-digit dollar range, to get their data back.

Over time, however, the ransomware gangs have continued to develop in the direction of ignoring small victims. Instead, more and more complex malware is used to take entire companies hostage. Once you succeed in infiltrating an entire company network, you can extort significantly higher ransom money. However, there are only a few groups that are able to operate successfully at this level.