FinCEN: More than $590 million in payments tied to ransomware attacks, including crypto payments

The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) issued a financial trend analysis on ransomware trends in Bank Secrecy Act reporting filed between January 2021 and June 2021. Of which, they recorded more than $590 million in payments related to ransomware attacks, exceeding the total for the entire year of 2020 (only $416 million). But not sure how much has to do with cryptocurrency.

FinCEN: Ransomware payments in 2021 already dwarf last year’s total

This report, issued according to the Anti-Money Laundering Act of 2020, focuses on pattern and trend information about ransomware, in line with FinCEN’s issuance of government-wide priorities for anti-money laundering and countering the financing of terrorism policy.

The US government’s financial crime watchdog said payments related to ransomware attacks in 2021 exceeded the total for 2020.

Exchanges and other financial institutions have reported more than $590 million in payments related to ransomware attacks, including crypto payments, to FinCEN for the first half of 2021, outpacing the 2020 total of just $416 million. It is not immediately clear how much this total is explicitly included for cryptocurrency transactions compared to more traditional payment methods.

fincen-more-than-590-million-in-payments-tied-to-ransomware-attacks-including-crypto-payments

Source: FinCEN

A Treasury Department press release states that attackers are increasingly demanding payments in Anonymity-Enhanced Cryptocurrencies” such as Monero (XMR). FinCEN tied the reported amounts, which came through Suspicious Activity Reports (SARs), to a total of $5.2 billion in transactions that may be “potentially tied” to ransomware payments.

Attackers are also using mixers, decentralized exchanges, fresh wallet addresses, and hopping between chains more as an effort to evade law enforcement officials.

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