Hackers Don’t Cry Anymore: Ransomware Income Soared This Year
Chainalysis researchers studied the issue and came to disappointing conclusions…
Early this year we wrote about the declining trend in ransomware revenues as more and more companies refuse to pay hackers money to unlock data. Last year, hacker revenues fell by almost half compared to 2021, and it looked like a kind of victory for companies over ransomware in the corporate sphere.
In today’s news, not everything is so clear. For example, there are definitely positive trends, because according to today’s report analytical company Chainalysis, ransomware is the only category of cryptocurrency crime that is seeing an increase this year. All other types of cryptocurrency cyberattacks, including hacks, scams, malware, fraudulent stores, and darknet marketplace revenues, are showing sharp declines.
However, not everything is as rosy as it might seem. The fact is that the growth in revenue from ransomware attacks this year was not 1, not 10, but almost 100 percent! In the first half of 2023, hackers have already earned $449 million, almost the same as in all of 2022.
Last year’s result achieved in six months
It is unlikely that ransomware revenues will decline, as will the general trend in ransomware attacks, especially against the backdrop of daily news about more and more cyber attacks on American cities, so it is safe to assume that by the end of the year, attackers will be able to bypass the results of 2020 and 2021, when annual income of hackers made up about $765 million.
Chainalysis ransomware data from previous years
If revenue growth rates remain at the same level, in 2023 ransomware will receive about $900 million from victims, which will set a new all-time high and will only encourage hackers to join the ransomware business.
BlackBasta, LockBit, ALPHV (Blackcat) and Clop top the list of top large-scale payment recipients, with Clop having an average payment of $1.7 million and a median of $1.9 million.
Average and median payments in 2023
Clop ransomware is responsible for two of the biggest attacks this year, each affecting more than a hundred organizations. Both attacks exploited zero-day vulnerabilities in popular MFT-platforms. In January, the service became a victim of hackers. goanywhere from Fortraand at the end of May MOVEit Transfer from Progress Software.
In addition, the opinion has already been voiced above that numerous attacks on American cities have also made a tangible contribution to the ransomware treasury. We all know about Auckland , Dallas , Lowell , Augusta And Hayward , where the city authorities decided not to pay the ransom to the attackers. But what do we know about how many cities have decided, for one reason or another, not to follow the advice of cybersecurity experts and still cooperate with hackers?
It is worth recalling that Chainalysis statistics primarily includes information about the movement of cryptocurrencies on the blockchain and practically does not rely on official data provided by the authorities of certain cities.
Analysts believe that the so-called “big game hunt” is driving the surge in ransomware earnings this year, as cybercriminals have become more likely to attack large organizations from which large sums of money can be extorted.
Thus, with the annual decline in the number of organizations willing to pay ransoms, which Chainalysis experts reported in January, ransomware is strategically increasing their ransom demands, seeking to compensate for their losses in the number of organizations through significant payments from the few large companies that do decide to cooperate. with hackers.