Analysis Finds 80 Percent of Ransomeware Extortion Linked to Handful of Large Players

Chris Gaetano
Published Date:
Apr 6, 2021
Cyber Crime

The world of ransomware extortion, like many other kinds of businesses both legitimate and not, is consolidating to a point where a small handful of big players pocket the vast majority of ill-gotten gains, CNBC reported.

Citing a recent analysis, CNBC said that the amount of cryptocurrency (the favored currency of cybercriminals, given its difficulty to track) paid to get rid of ransomware increased by 330 percent in 2020, reaching $370 million. But 80 percent of all funds went to just 199 anonymous accounts. And even then, there is still a vast gulf between the top earners here and everyone else: A still smaller group of 25 accounts raked in 46 percent. According to another report, more than half of 1,700 businesses polled said they experienced some form of ransomware attack over the past year.

These findings reflect overall trends in cybercrime that have been observed over the past few years. Specifically, it has begun to turn into a routine day job that looks and feels a lot like any other white-collar profession, except that, in this case, the "customers" most emphatically do not want the services these firms are offering. In this respect, it is similar to the way that piracy on the high seas in its golden age was very much a business as well.

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