US Treasury Tracks $5.2bn of Ransomware Transactions in Six Months
The US Treasury has reportedly tracked $5.2 billion of Bitcoin transactions that were likely to have been ransomware payments over the first half of 2021. A new report released by the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network hinted that this amount may only be the tip of the iceberg when it comes to ransomware payments. The transactions were linked to the top 10 ransomware variants, however, it identified 68 ransomware families in total. The most frequently reported strains are REvil, Conti, DarkSide, Phobos, and Avaddon.
The $5.2 billion is associated with 177 different wallet addresses mentioned in suspicious activity reports released by banks to authorities in order to combat financial crime and money laundering. According to the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, the amount of suspicious activity reported related to ransomware has skyrocketed in the first half of 2021. The average suspected value of reported ransomware transactions per month for the first half of 2021 is around $100 million. The reported sum is linked only to Bitcoin transactions, however, threat actors are increasingly seeking payments in currencies that are harder to track such as Monero.