Ransomware attacks in the United States are on the rise towards the end of 2020, but it is on the rise, especially in 2021. This year, hackers have hacked numerous US companies on a large scale. Such an attack on the pipeline operator Col colonial pipeline caused a temporary fuel supply shortage on the east coast of the United States. The hackers also targeted an Iowa-based agricultural company, threatening to disrupt grain harvests in the Midwest. Schools, insurance companies and the police department were also attacked.
Related Reading | Questions remain with FBI Col colonial pipeline ransomware cryptocurrency recovery
In response, the US Treasury’s Financial Crime Enforcement Network (FinCEN), accused of protecting the financial system from misuse, has released a financial trends analysis. Finsen released the report on Friday, October 15, 2021.
The report analyzes the significant increase in ransomware payments in the first six months of 2021 and the relative differences compared to last year.
Ransomware attacks in the United States
U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet L. According to the report, FinCEN analysis of the Suspicious Activity Report (SARs) filed in the first half of 2021 indicates that it is a growing threat to the United States.
Between January 1 and June0, 2021, 355 SARs were filed and 858 transactions were made. This is 0% more than the total 7 SARs filed for the entire 2020-2020. The total value of the suspected ransomware payments in the first half of 2021 was ৫০ 50 million, more than the ২০ 16,116 million reported in the whole of 2020.
Source: FinCEN Financial Trend Analysis
The average amount of ransomware transactions reported per month in 2021 was 10 102.3 million, according to the U.S. Treasury Department. FinCEN has identified Bitcoin (BTC) as the most common payment method of reported transactions. Outgoing BTC payments with the top 10 variants in the last three years are estimated at 5. 5.2 billion. It noted that the USD figures cited in this analysis are based on the value of the BTC at the time of the transaction.
BTC trading at over $60.7K | Source: BTCUSD on TradingView.com
If the trend continues, hackers could make a lot more money from ransomware this year than they did ten years ago.
US government response
The US government is working to stop hacker attacks. The Biden administration has made the government’s cyber security response a top priority since a series of attacks this year that have threatened U.S. power and food supplies.
Earlier this month, the Justice Department announced the launch of a national cryptocurrency enforcement team to track exchanges that expedite criminal-related transactions, such as National Ransomware claims.
Related Reading | The United States has recovered millions of dollars paid in bitcoin for pipeline ransomware
In September, the Wall Street Journal reported that the Biden administration was “preparing various measures, including a ban, to make it harder for hackers to use digital currency.”
Also last month, the Department of the Treasury Office of Foreign Assets Control approved the crypto exchange SUEX OTC, SRO (SUEX) to facilitate the financial transactions of ransomware actors. This action was the first step of the department against virtual currency exchange on ransomware activities.
As soon as the report was released, the Treasury Department published the Virtual Currency Guide. The directive states, “The virtual currency industry, including technology companies, exchangers, administrators, miners, wallet providers and users, has a growing role to play in preventing the exploitation of virtual currency and undermining US foreign policy and national security.” ”
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