FinCEN, a US financial crime network, links more than $5 billion in Bitcoin transactions to the most common ransomware variants. The organization stated in a report released last week that the average monthly total suspicious amount of ransomware transactions in the first two quarters of 2021 was US$66.4 million. FinCEN also determined that the most commonly used cryptocurrency associated with these activities is Bitcoin.

FinCEN delves into ransomware attacks

FinCEN, a US financial crime network, found that more than $5 billion in bitcoin transactions were related to payments to the top ten most popular ransomware variants. The agency published these findings in a report entitled “Ransomware Trends in Bank Secrecy Act Data from January 2021 to June 2021”, which summarizes the ransomware activity in the first two quarters of this year .

The report looked at ransomware trends and its critical impact on infrastructure, pointing out that as of June, a total of 635 reports and 458 transactions had been reported. This number exceeds the total number of incidents reported in 2021. Some of the most famous incidents include colonial pipeline attacks, which caused natural gas shortages across the country.

Bitcoin is the cryptocurrency of choice

The report also found that Bitcoin is the most commonly used cryptocurrency in ransomware-related transactions. During the review period, FinCEN reported that the vast majority of payments related to these incidents were required to be paid in Bitcoin. However, payments made using monero, a privacy-focused cryptocurrency, have increased slightly.

Another interesting finding of the report is that most of the funds collected through these activities go to known entities such as exchanges, and technologies such as “chain jump” that convert one cryptocurrency to another are being used. To avoid being discovered by cryptocurrency. authorities. The use of mixers is also becoming more and more common in an attempt to further confuse the path of mixing cryptocurrencies.

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The Defi app can also convert some of these currencies into other currencies so that they can be freely exchanged on other more liquid exchanges. FinCEN identified funds related to ransomware, which were sent indirectly to addresses related to the open protocol for defi applications.

The agency recommends that organizations promptly submit suspicious activity reports when ransomware attacks occur, and integrate intrusion detection systems into their network defense mechanisms.

What do you think of FinCEN’s latest ransomware report and its connection with cryptocurrency? Tell us in the comments section below.

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