FinCEN, the U.S. Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, has transacted more than 5 billion in bitcoin transactions with the most common ransomware version out there. The agency said in a report released last week that the average monthly total suspicious amount of ransomware transactions was $ 66.4 million in the first two quarters of 2021.
Finsen dives into the ransomware attack
Finsen, the U.S. Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, found that more than $ 5 billion in Bitcoin transactions were linked to payments for the top ten popular ransomware variants. The results are published in a report entitled “Ransomware Trends in Bank Secrecy Act Data Bit January 2021 and June 2021”, which summarizes Ransomware activity in the first two quarters of the year.
Examining ransomware trends and their critical impact on infrastructure, the report said there were 355 reports and 858 transactions as of June. This number goes beyond all the incidents that were reported during 2021. Several well-known incidents include the colonial pipeline attack, which caused gas shortages across the country.
Bitcoin is the preferred crypto
The report also found that Bitcoin was the most widely used cryptocurrency for ransomware-related transactions. During the trial period, Finsen reported that most of the payments related to these incidents were requested to be made in Bitcoin. However, there was a marginal increase in money made with a privacy-based cryptocurrency, Monroe.
Another interesting finding of the report is that most of the funds raised through these activities were directed at well-known entities such as exchanges and strategies such as “chain hopping”, in which one cryptocurrency was exchanged and the other was used to avoid identification. The use of mixers is also an increasingly common phenomenon, trying to further obscure the path of mixed cryptocurrencies.
Defy applications can also work to convert some of these currencies into others so that they can exchange freely in other, more liquid exchanges. FinCEN has identified ransomware-related funds that were indirectly sent to addresses related to open protocols for use in deficient applications.
The organization recommends submitting suspicious activity reports during ransomware attacks and integrating intrusion detection systems into their cyber defense systems.
What do you think of Finsen’s latest ransomware report and its link to cryptocurrency? Tell us in the comments section below.
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