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  /  World News   /  Ransom attack payments hit record $1B in 2023: Report

Ransom attack payments hit record $1B in 2023: Report

(NewsNation) — Ransomware attackers extorted over $1 billion from victims, setting a new annual record, according to a new report from crypto-tracking firm Chainalysis.

Cybercriminals pocketed $1.1 billion in 2023, compared to $567 million in 2022. The surge coincided with a “major escalation in the frequency, scope, and volume of attacks,” the firm said.


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Researchers believe this anomaly is linked to the Russia-Ukraine war, as many hackers changed their operations from ransomware attacks for financial gain to politically motivated cyberattacks aimed at espionage and destruction.

In 2023, cybercriminal groups targeted U.S. institutions such as hospitals, schools, casinos and government agencies and oftentimes collected big payouts. Chainalysis said an increasing share of the victims paid more than $1 million as hackers targeted rich companies that can afford to pay.

The report didn’t track additional losses, which are often in the millions, that victims suffer in trying to recover from ransomware attacks. Chainalysis cited MGM Resorts estimated its recovery costs from a ransomware attack last year at $100 million.

There were also mass extorsion-only attacks by digital extortionists named “cl0p,” which subverted a file-sharing software MOVEit, made nearly $100 million in ransom payments, Chainalysis said.


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“Big game hunting” has become the dominant strategy over the last few years, with a dominant share of all ransom revenue volume made up of payments of $1 million or more, the firm added.

The report revealed that losses stemming from other crypto-related crimes such as scamming and hacking fell in 2023.