Ransomware has been one of the biggest concerns crypto pose. According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), cryptocurrencies and deep-fake technologies are making the US government concerned with cybercriminals implementing digital advancements at such a quick pace that law enforcement can hardly keep up.
“The key currency, the primary tool, for facilitating extortion payments in crypto,” during a Bloomberg virtual panel discussion, assistant director of the FBI’s Cyber Division Bryan Vorndran said.
He went on to add, “we all know the blockchain offers us some opportunities, but the ability to pay crypto, script it immediately into a tumbler, whether through an extortion payment or theft, is a huge, huge challenge for us.”
Significant rise in Ransomware attacks
In the past few years, Crypto has become a favorite mode of payment for criminals as it is virtually unhackable and, unlike cash, allows large sums of money to be moved almost rapidly without ever contacting the banking system. As a result, in ransomware attacks, such as those that use software to block computer networks, the attackers nearly always demand virtual tokens as the form of payment.
In October last month, the Australian legislation decided to bring strict laws against ransomware.
In May last year, a Russia-linked DarkSide crippled Colonial Pipeline Co. until the firm paid nearly $5 million in cryptocurrencies. The next month, US officials announced that 63.7 of the 75 Bitcoins involved had been recovered.
Other firms targeted by ransomware groups include Meatpacker JBS SA and even the Washington police department. As per a study in October, $5.2 billion in Bitcoin were connected to Ransomware payments to the top 10 ransomware variants.
Last year, the United States took several actions against these activities, including taking a swipe at the Russia-based crypto exchange Suex for its role in Ransomware payments.