This is the result of the work of the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) investigators, of the US Treasury Department.
As reported by BleepingComputer, after reviewing 2,184 SARs (Suspicious Activity Reports) issued between January 1, 2011, and June 30, 2021, FinCEN discovered 177 CVC (convertible virtual currency) wallet addresses used for ransomware-related payments, amounting to $1.56 billion in suspicious activity.
The ransomware-related transactions that have been reported in SARs during the review exceed that of any previous year before 2011.
In the first six months of 2021, FinCEN identified $590 million in ransomware-related SARs, a 42 percent increase compared to a total of $416 million for all of 2020.
If current trends continue, SARs filed in 2021 are projected to have a higher ransomware-related transaction value than SARs filed in the previous 10 years combined, which would represent a continuing trend of substantial increases in reported year-over-year ransomware activity.
The increasing prevalence of ransomware-related attacks is reflected in this potential trend. The incident rise rate may also be attributed to the improved detection and reported incidents. This may also be linked to increased awareness of reporting obligations related to ransomware and companies’ willingness to report the incidents.