Blockchain data and analysis provider Chainalysis reported that Russian hackers were responsible for 74% of extorted crypto assets last year.
Chainanalysis is a US-based crypto investigation company that attempts to find links between digital asset transactions and real-life criminal activities and helps institutions solve malicious cases.
Based on a recent report published by the blockchain data company Chainanalysis, an overwhelming amount of funds related to ransomware are moving around through Russian digital addresses, suggesting potential money laundering instances.
Did you know?
Want to get smarter & wealthier with crypto?
Subscribe - We publish new crypto explainer videos every week!
Crypto Fees Explained: How Not to Overpay? (Animated)
The most commonly used ransom method by hackers in the region - gaining control of a victim’s computers through infected programs, and restraining the user from accessing any files.
This is typically followed by a pop-up, informing the user that the computer’s files are encrypted, and a request to pay the ransom in order to regain access to the computer. According to Chainalasyis, 13% of digital addresses related to ransomware hacks, and used to shop with stolen funds were predominantly related to Russia.
The report estimates that in 2021, 74% of all funds related to ransomware were funneled through Russian channels, amounting to a total of over $400 million in revenue obtained by hackers.
In fact, Chainalysis posted the three main links that connect ransomware hacks to Russia. Firstly, the company highlights Evil Corp which is a Russian cybercrime group, often regarded as having connections to the government of Russia.
Interestingly enough, Chainalysis determined that the code that is built inside the ransomware specifically targets computers that are based outside the CIS region so there are no conflicts with Russian agencies.
Finally, the ransomware usually contains information and data in Russian, or the perpetrators of ransomware attacks were highly probable suspects, or previously flagged due to having ties to the region.
Russia is not the only region with suspected highly capable cybercrime groups. Earlier in January, Kaspersky posted an announcement, warning users that a powerful North Korean cybercriminal organization BlueNoroff, potentially backed by the government, has been targeting digital asset-based platforms, especially crypto start-ups for financial gain.