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Companies are no longer paying ransoms

by on20 January 2023

Payoffs see dramatic drop 

It would appear that companies have had enough of paying money to cybercriminals to unlock their systems.

For a while there it looks like cybercriminals were making a fortune by infecting companies and then demanding money to get their data back. However, new research from Chainalysis suggests that companies were no longer surrendering to terrorists and were telling the extortionists to go forth and multiply.

In findings published on Thursday, the blockchain forensics firm estimated that ransom payments -- which are almost always paid in cryptocurrency -- fell to $456.8 million in 2022 from $765.6 million in 2021, a 40 per cent drop.

"That doesn't mean attacks are down, or at least not as much as the drastic dropoff in payments would suggest. Instead, we believe that much of the decline is due to victim organizations increasingly refusing to pay ransomware attackers."

Chainalysis also said the actual totals could be much higher, as there are cryptocurrency addresses controlled by ransomware attackers that its researchers haven't yet identified.

However, it is also possible that companies have come up with suitable backups which mitigate many types of extortion attacks.


Last modified on 20 January 2023
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