Ransomware payments down 50% in 2023

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Blockchain forensics firm Chainalysis says ransomware attacks involving payments decreased by 46% in 2023.

As the ransomware market becomes increasingly saturated with new schemes due to lower barriers-to-entry, executing profitable attacks involving crypto payments has become a challenging thing, according to a new blog report from Chainalysis.

Chainalysis: Ransomware payments down 50% in 2023 - 1
Ransomware payments vs the amount of incidents | Source: Chainalysis

The blockchain intelligence firm says the 46% drop in ransomware payments can be partly attributed to “enhanced cyber resilience among organizations,” adding that companies now possess a better understanding of the threats they face.

“[…] the availability of undisclosed decryptors from public and private sector efforts, such as those for the Rhysida strain, and major law enforcement actions like the Hive intervention have reduced the need for ransom payments in some instances, underscoring the value of reporting incidents to law enforcement.”

Chainalysis

Chainalysis points out that even though there are more attacks, fewer people are paying ransoms, which reflects the “growing reluctance of victims to comply with the demands of cybercriminals.” Sanctions and more organizations refusing to fund criminal activities have also made paying ransoms seem unacceptable and unnecessary, the firm says.

“Continued victim reporting and collaboration with law enforcement can provide valuable intelligence, and as we’ve seen over the last year, and potentially provide victims with a decryptor that prevents them from paying the ransom.”

Chainalysis

However, challenges still persist as some ransomware strains continue to evade detection, causing significant financial losses. For instance, the Akira Bitcoin ransomware caused multi-million dollar losses for various companies and organizations in North America, Europe, and Australia, seizing more than $42 million and affecting over 250 companies operating computers on Windows and Linux operating systems, according to a recent FBI statement.

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