Barely two months ago, Cointribune informed you of the explosion of ransomware within the crypto space echoing the alert launched by Chris Krebs. The former director of the US Cybersecurity Agency explained that even state agencies became easy targets for this type of attack. The first figures relating to the extent of this criminal activity in 2021 have fallen and prove Mr Krebs right. Chainalysis has just revealed that they have already reached $ 81 million in stolen cryptocurrencies this year.
A figure likely to increase with the discovery of new criminal activities
If the figures mentioned by Chainalysis As the ransomware toll at the start of the year is already high, it would be good to keep in mind that it could quickly be seen on the rise. Just last week Colonial Pipeline was the victim of this type of attack which resulted in a major gas shortage in the southeastern United States. To take control of the situation, the provider was forced to pay $ 5 million in bitcoin to a Russian criminal enterprise called DarkSide. It is therefore highly likely that the current figures will increase as new criminal activity is discovered retroactively.
This would not be a first, moreover, since the same scenario has already occurred with the blockchain analysis company concerning the results of ransomware identified for the year 2020. Chainalysis initially claimed that these attacks had generated cryptocurrency payments totaling $ 350 million. She now suggests that total be $ 406 million instead. with the discovery of new cases that occurred last year. Given the figures currently mentioned, 2021 could give rise to similar statistics if not even more important if nothing is done by then.
Chainalysis by on the hunt for cryptocriminals
The mission of Chainalysis not only to identify cases of ransomware involving payments in cryptocurrency, but also to identify the perpetrators. The blockchain analysis company was thus requested in this context by the US Air Force during the last year. It also paid him nearly a million dollars for his expertise which is also rewarded within the cryptographic space.
While current data is only part of the next report on Chainalysis on the state of ransomware in 2021, they provide additional essential information. With DarkSide and Evil Corp, Russian cybercriminals are already identified as the biggest financial beneficiaries of cryptocurrency-based crime in 2021.
While the release date of Chainalysis’s final report has yet to be disclosed, the impact of it is already widely feared by the crypto industry. It could indeed end up convincing governments to take more radical measures against the anonymity of transactions. Wait and see.
The comments and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author alone, and should not be considered as investment advice. Do your own research before making any investment decisions.