Crypto ransomware attacks increase in the first half of 2023: Report Says

Crypto Ransomware attacks have emerged as the only cryptocurrency-based crime to grow up in 2023. According to data compiled by Chainalysis, cybercriminals have increased their annual extortion by roughly $175.8 million.

Overall, crypto crime went down in the first half of 2023, but the number of payments to ransomware attackers went up and is on track to be the second-highest annual total ever, according to a report released on Wednesday by the blockchain analytics company Chainalysis.

This year, the prices of cryptocurrencies have slowly gone up. This is a comeback after a string of high-profile crypto companies going bankrupt in 2022 drove down token prices and caused investors to lose a lot of money.

Chainalysis said that the amount of crypto going to illegal services like darknet markets, ransomware players, malware, scams, fraud shops, and child abuse material hit $2.8 billion in the first half of 2023. This is a drop of 65 percent from the $8 billion that came in during the same time last year.
But these numbers don’t include transfers to organizations that are subject to global bans. Chainalysis said in January that 44 percent of the record-high $20.1 billion in crypto crime in 2022 came from transactions involving organizations that were on a list of banned groups.

Chainalysis said this went against the long-term trend that people are more likely to fall for scams when prices are going up because of “market exuberance” and “FOMO” (fear of missing out). Chainalysis said that there was an increase in the number of people who fell for impersonation scams, in which scammers pretend to be police officers or other people in power in order to get money from people.

Chainalysis said that ransomware attackers got $449.1 million in crypto payments in the first half of 2023. This was $175.8 million more than in the same time last year. Analysts said that if this keeps up, ransomware criminals will have their second-best year ever.

“Big game hunting,” which is when ransomware attackers go after big, wealthy organizations, seems to have started up again after a lull in 2022. At the same time, the number of successful small attacks has also gone up, according to Chainalysis.

Chainalysis’s numbers probably don’t show how important crypto is to all crime. For example, they don’t include cases where cryptocurrencies are used to pay for crimes that have nothing to do with cryptocurrencies, like drug dealing.

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