Security experts claimed that Bitcoin transactions amounting to more than $5.2 billion are currently linked to ransomware attacks. Is this serious?
Bitcoin is currently one of the most popular digital currencies across the globe. Recently, BTC was able to sryuCryurpass its, $60,000 value on the third week of October. Many experts claimed that this happened since many investors thought that the U.S. regulators would clear the first bitcoin futures exchange-traded fund.
On the other hand, the Securities and Exchange Commission is set to allow the first U.S. Bitcoin’s futures exchange-traded funds to start trading next week, a landmark victory for a blockchain industry that has long sought permissions from Wall Street’s top regulator, according to a person familiar with the matter.
But, you still need to be careful when it comes to investing in Bitcoin since the United States Treasury Department’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network discovered that billions of BTC transactions are currently linked to ransomware attacks.
Billions of BTC Payments Linked To Ransomware Attacks
The latest findings of FinCEN stated that they discovered ransomware-linked Bitcoin payments amounting to $5.2 billion. The U.S. government agency also stated that it identified 177 Convertible Virtual Currency or CVC wallet addresses used for ransomware-related payments, specifically in Bitcoin form.
On the other hand, FinCEN added that they acquired this detail after conducting an analysis on 2,184 SARs or Suspicious Activity Reports between January 1, 2011, and June 30, 2021. Involved U.S. officials added that their analysis reflected $1.56 billion in suspicious activity.
FinCEN explained that the “trends represented in this report illustrate financial institutions’ identification and reporting of ransomware events and may not reflect the actual dates associated with ransomware incidents. FinCEN’s analysis of ransomware-related SARs highlights average ransomware payment amounts, top ransomware variants, and insights from FinCEN’s Bitcoin analysis.
The U.S. Treasury Department’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network authorities added that “ransomware actors develop their own versions of ransomware, known as ‘variants,’ and these versions are given new names based on a change to software or to denote a particular threat actor behind the malware. FinCEN identified 68 ransomware variants reported in SAR data for Bitcoin transactions during the review period.
They added that their crypto payment observation discovered that the ransomware groups involved include Avaddon, Phobos, DarkSide, Conti, as well as the notorious REvil Russian-linked hacking group.
Do Hackers Rely on BTC?
Crypto is considered transparent and decentralized. In the blockchain, all transactions can be traced forever. Nevertheless, Bitcoin is a currency of choice for cybercriminals. Right now, hackers tend to rely on BTC since it allows investors to make transactions anonymously.
Because of this, the U.S. government and other countries are now considering control these crypto transactions since they are being used by cybercriminals and other malicious actors. Recently, China confirmed that it is no longer allowing blockchain transactions in the country. On the other hand, Kazakhstan is also believed planning to do the same thing.
If hackers and other online attackers continue to take advantage of the rising crypto market, there’s a high chance that these blockchain companies would also be banned or regulated in the United States and other giant countries.