Monero crypto of selection as ransomware ‘double extortion’ assaults improve 500%

A brand new report by blockchain analytics agency CipherTrace highlights the rising function that privacy-focused cryptocurrencies similar to Monero are enjoying within the rising tide of ransomware.

“Present Traits in Ransomware” delves into traits noticed throughout 2021 however was solely launched this week. The agency revealed there was virtually a 500% improve in “double extortion” ransomware assaults from 2020 to 2021. These are cyber assaults wherein malicious actors steal a sufferer’s delicate knowledge along with encrypting it.

The report echoes related findings from analytics agency Chainalysis which reported that total ransomware crypto funds topped $600 million for the interval.

The brand new analysis discovered that final 12 months noticed growing calls for for ransom fee in Monero (XMR), with attackers including premiums for funds made in Bitcoin (BTC) starting from 10 to twenty%. At the least 22 ransomware strains (from an incomplete listing of greater than 50) solely settle for XMR funds, and no less than seven of them settle for each BTC and XMR, it added.

“Greater costs for BTC are most definitely seen by the ransomware actors as a premium for coping with the elevated threat in utilizing an simply traceable cryptocurrency like BTC.”

The report cited a Russian-speaking ransomware gang referred to as Everest Group which claimed to have hacked the US Authorities in October final 12 months. In line with CipherTrace, Everest Ransomware is “presently attempting to promote the info for $500,000 in XMR.”

One other instance was the Russian DarkSide group liable for the US Colonial Pipeline assault in Might 2021. The ransom could possibly be paid in both XMR or BTC, however the associated fee was increased for the latter.

The REvil ransomware group additionally switched from demanding BTC to demanding funds in XMR solely in early 2020.

Associated: Do not blame crypto for ransomware

Monero is a privacy-based cryptocurrency that makes use of a mix of applied sciences similar to mixers, ring signatures, and stealth addresses that obfuscate sending and receiving wallets. This is the reason it has change into the first asset of selection for these demanding ransoms.

For that cause, Monero and different extremely privacy-focused cryptocurrencies similar to Sprint and Zcash have been delisted by some exchanges in international locations such because the UK and Japan.

The Monero blockchain will likely be exhausting forked in July to additional improve its anonymity and privateness properties.

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Written by trendingatoz

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