While financial frauds are prevalent in today’s society, the digital currency sector seems to be creating a reputation for itself recently. As a result, the financial authorities in the United States have been keeping a close check on crypt firms and investments. They’ve issued another worrisome update to the sector.
The Treasury Department’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network [FinCEN] revealed Bitcoin transactions totaling $5.2 billion that might be linked to ransomware. In addition, FinCEN utilized the research to track the flow of Bitcoin ransomware payments and determine the exchanges and services that ransomware perpetrators used to launder their money.
According to the statistics, 2,184 Special Activity Reports [SARs] were submitted between January 1, 2011, and June 30, 2021. In addition, it discovered 177 convertible cryptocurrency wallet addresses linked to the ransomware versions that were used in ransomware activities.
The agency also identified 68 active ransomware versions, with the most often reported REvil/Sodinokibi, Conti, DarkSide, Avaddon, and Phobos.
According to statistics, the agency received $590 million in ransomware-related SARs in 2018, up 42 percent from 2020. According to the document,
“FinCEN identified $590 million in ransomware-related SARs, a 42 percent increase compared to a total of $416 million for all of 2020. If current trends continue, SARs filed in 2021 are projected to have a higher ransomware-related transaction value than SARs filed in the previous 10 years combined, which would represent a continuing trend of substantial increases in reported year-over-year ransomware activity.”
The Treasury Department recently banned individuals from participating in any manner with the SUEX cryptocurrency exchange amid suspicions of ransomware payments being laundered to criminals. According to their findings, illegal actors are responsible for 40% of the exchange’s known transaction history.
Monero was also mentioned in the FinCEN report. It was dubbed an anonymity-enhanced Digital currency that has gained popularity as a privacy tool.
The Treasury has been contemplating severe measures to combat such cyberattacks, but if they are implemented, they will influence the legislation. The government also wants blockchain businesses to collaborate with them in combating ransomware attacks, given the rise in cryptocurrency payments for malware.