Over 74% of ransomware earnings reaching Russia


According to a recent report released by blockchain analysis firm ‘Chainalysis’ over 74% of revenue related to ransomware attacks is reaching the hacking groups based in Russia. And the findings also suggest that the year 2021 alone witnessed $400 million worth of crypto-currency payments reach the groups affiliated to Putin nation.

Though, Kremlin has denied ‘n’ number of times that it is harboring cyber criminals, the recent discovery made by the blockchain form suggests that the Russian federation had some links to the gangs operating in its region and might also be raking a portion of earnings, all as taxes, on the ransom demanded/gained from the victims.

What’s startling about this file encrypting malware distribution business is the fact that the criminals have hired legal consultants or arbitrators who negotiate the ransom demanded by them from the victims and see that the amount reaches them on time in-exchange for the decryption key.

Such a business trend is also running between the groups that are offering ransomware-as-a-service where cyber thieves resolve disputes among them- so that the law enforcements like FBI and NSA do not take the slightest of the chance to arrest them- while making the negotiation/s with the victim.

For those who think that those spreading ransomware are just working from their home basements, here’s a theory to enlighten your mind. As per the analysis made by Recorded Future, those spreading file encrypting malware are operating in an organized way by following a corporate culture and that is:

First, a hacking team gains access to a network to establish a foothold and then the customer service executives contact the victims and establish a chat to negotiate the ransom. Then comes the turn of a money laundering gang that supervises the payments made in cryptocurrency and sees that they reach the e-wallets on time and as per a scheduled time frame.

In the middle is the developers’ gang that sees that their malware is evolving from time to time as per the current threat landscape.

Seems like an enticing business that demands a minimal investment with larger gains. Well, all seems merry till you enter the business.

And remember, ‘If there is no pain, then there is no gain.

Naveen Goud
Naveen Goud is a writer at Cybersecurity Insiders covering topics such as Mergers & Acquisitions, Startups, Cyber Attacks, Cloud Security and Mobile Security

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