Data theft is becoming one of the biggest cyber crimes of recent times, to such an extent that the scourge increased by 94 percent last year and He asked people for courses worth more than $1.1 billion, which had to be paid for with Bitcoin, As is customary in these modern crimes, leaving no trace.
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These figures are from the 2024 Cryptocrime Report prepared by the firm Chainalysis, for which the strategy of cyber criminals is to ‘hunt’ for victims on the network who have the ability to pay $1 million or more for the ransom of information. Since 75 percent of the payment volume was for that target amount.
According to the experts consulted, No one is safe from this ‘curse’ of technology and many people are willing to pay ransom for their information. Because today the world deals with sensitive data and information in personal, as well as business and professional matters. He comments, “Without a doubt, illegally obtained information may hold the future of millions of companies of all sizes, but also the sensitive data of individuals.”
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In 2023, Chainalysis researchers identified an increase in new “players” and strains of ransomware, attracted by the possibility of its benefits. And few barriers to entry. An example of this was the increasing popularity and ease of access of -RaaS-like ransomware services, in which outsiders act as collaborators to attack with malicious software in exchange for profits.
“This highest-ever rate of ransomware payouts shows that this is a lurking threat that will only get worse. In addition to the data ransom payment, $1.1 billion, companies anticipate losses that directly impact their productivity, Costs associated with repairing their ecosystems. For example, the company MGM did not agree to pay any ransom, but reported losses of more than $100 million,” explained Jackie Cowen, head of cyber threat intelligence at Chainalysis.
Given the worrying growth of this illegal activity, experts point out that “It is important to understand the ransomware ecosystem to identify potential attacks and eliminate “data theft strategies”.,
Because its impact is global, this issue requires the effort of governments, law enforcement agencies, technology providers who specialize in cyber attacks, and the support of victim organizations that respond to these attacks with transparency. Want to be,” Cowen said.
This is how cyber criminals work
According to Chainalysis expert, the growth of Initial Access Brokers (IABs) has made it easier for criminals to carry out ransomware attacks. As the name suggests, IABs penetrate potential victims’ networks and then sell that access to ransomware attackers for a few hundred dollars.
add it IABs, combined with commercially available RaaS, means that very little technical knowledge is required to carry out a successful ransomware attack.,
“We found a correlation between flows into IAB wallets and an increase in ransomware payments, which suggests that IAB monitoring can provide early warning signals and allow potential interference and attacks to be mitigated,” Cowen said. ”
trace of illegal money
A recent report presented by that company indicates that it managed to track the movement of ransomware funds, revealing how these resources are laundered.
For example, last year, It was identified that the tactics used by cyber criminals showed a very low level of concentration of funds obtained from wallets linked to ransomware, During staking services, assets held on multiple chains – cross-chain bridges – and sanctioned entities showed the highest levels of background concentration.
The report continues, “This mobility, previously favored by cybercriminals, is resulting in the elimination of their traditional methods of money laundering,” The report also warns that, “The implementation of some of the more robust security policies such as AML/KYC and the evolution of those money laundering priorities by criminals have made the criminal puzzle more apparent to authorities.”Whose objective is to end this form of cyber crime.”