Researchers say that ransomware cyberattackers have netted anywhere between $33 million and $42 million in Bitcoin this year, according to statistics from RansomWhere.
Should REvil get the $70 million it sought from US businesses affected by a major ransomware assault earlier this month, this sum may increase significantly. So far, this year, Ransomware hackers have received over $32 million in payment.
REvil Ransomware Attack
Recent research has identified a new ransomware threat that was first discovered in April of 2019, the REvil (Sodinokibi) ransomware. Known as “sodinokibi” in Japanese, this ransomware is responsible for one-third of all ransomware payments in 2019 because it is extorting $11.3 million from victims in Bitcoin.
Furthermore, REvil is the second biggest ever identified ransomware in terms of money made from victims by Ramsomwhere. In addition to their $26.9 million in contributions, the Mailto/Netwalker group had $27.9 million in receipts.
RagnarLocker, DarkSide, and Egregor are all receiving significant sums this year, with Mailto/Netwalker bringing in $5.7 million.
What is Ransomware?
Cryptovirology ransomware threatens to post personal data or restrict access until a ransom is paid. For more sophisticated ransomware, cryptoviral extortion (also known as cryptoviral blackmail) is often used.
The files of the victim are encrypted, which makes them completely unavailable, and in addition, the attacker wants money in order to decode them. An intractable issue if you don’t have the decryption key and difficult to track cryptocurrencies such as paysafecard or Bitcoin are often used in these scams, making prosecution difficult.
Ransomware assaults are usually executed using a Trojan, which looks like a genuine file, and is deliberately sent as an email attachment to mislead the victim into downloading or opening it.
There was one very notable exception, the WannaCry virus, which traveled on its own across computers without the need for the user to engage with it.
Beginning in or around 2012, ransomware schemes began to increase across the world. 181.5 million ransomware assaults occurred between January and June of 2018. This rise represents a 229% increase over the same time period last year.
Data compiled by McAfee showed that it had found almost twice as many ransomware samples in the second quarter of 2014 than it had in the previous year’s corresponding period. It was believed that between $3 million and $18 million had been stolen via CryptoLocker when it was shut down, while the FBI claims that a sum approaching $18 million had been stolen through CryptoWall by June of 2015.
Between 2019 and 2020, the IC3 received 2,474 reports of malware, which resulted in $29.1 million in damages. Other than the stated losses, the FBI claims the losses may be greater.