More than $5 billion in bitcoin transactions has been tied to the top ten ransomware variants, according to a report released by the US Treasury on Friday.
The department’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCen) and Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) released two reports illustrating just how lucrative cybercrime related to ransomware has become for the gangs behind them. Parts of the report are based on suspicious activity reports (SAR) financial services firms filed to the US government.
FinCen said the total value of suspicious activity reported in ransomware-related SARs during the first six months of 2021 was $590 million, which exceeds the $416 million reported for all of 2020.
“FinCEN analysis of ransomware-related SARs filed during the first half of 2021 indicates that ransomware is an increasing threat to the US financial sector, businesses and the public. The number of ransomware-related SARs filed monthly has grown rapidly, with 635 SARs filed and 458 transactions reported between 1 January 2021 and 30 June 2021, up 30 percent from the total of 487 SARs filed for the entire 2020 calendar year,” the report said.
Through analyzing 177 unique convertible virtual currency wallet addresses used for ransomware-related payments associated with the 10 most commonly-reported ransomware variants