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  • Chris Bratton - Tech Journalist

US Gov reported $590 million grabbed by ransomware in first half of 2021, totalling $5.2 billion

Ransomware makes up for one of the most extensive parts of online crime and fraudulent activity. However unfortunate it is, and many campaigns are held to teach people about ransomware protection, it slides through personal contact information and gets to the victim. A recent US government announcement declared $590 million in losses caused by ransomware within the first half of 2021, and it’s going strong.



Track record says in 2020, ransomware took over $416 million, according to the US governments Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN). Between the fact sheet, the US government published and data from the Department of The Treasury to take counter actions against ransomware, a cusp of thrown out information to the public is non-ignorable as it reflects how difficult the situation is.


Financial Trend Analysis 2021 by the US Treasury released a press report containing ransomware trends in Bank Secrecy Act Data from January to June 2021 highlighted anti-money laundering and countering (AML/CFT) policy. A report filed by SAR review period FinCEN identified $590 million in ransomware-related trends. If the current trend goes on, it could easily project a higher number than it took place within the last ten years. Yes, it is that severe.


In 2016, ransomware collected over $181 million, and it grew a considerable margin in 2019, jumping to $281 million. Last year was a record high with $400 million in ransomware collection, which was broken again within the first half of 2021. The rate is only growing, and as the prevention method goes, the attackers are taking the long road to see through the matter.


Most of the ransom transactions took place via digital/virtual currency such as Bitcoin and Ethereum as those are untraceable methods of transactions. Biden Administration started taking steps to combat ransomware attacks with a series of steps. The US Treasury will disrupt criminal activity and virtual exchange responsible for ransoms. Improved cybersecurity practices will occur across all private sectors, and a separate US government ransomware payment reporting enforcement is formed to tackle the increasing incidence. A sanction advisory has disrupted ransomware infrastructure and actors and leveraged international cooperation boundless by borders.


The government sees the ongoing efforts to drive international standards and make transactions transparent as a futuristic solution. We hope it taken as suitable measures as it took a lot of expert decisions and financial reports to come to this solution. But the fact remains if the ransom is not paid clearly, victims may get exposed to a risk that may hamper their personal and, for individuals with control over state decisions, may pose a risk further.

As the Office of Foreign Asset Control is cutting down access to payments, “the impact on the sanctioned exchange will be severe.”


One popular virtual currency exchange platform, SUEX, is now banned for US citizens from conducting business. US Treasury said Analysis of known SUESX transactions shows that over 40 per cent of SUEX’s general transaction history is associated with illicit actors.


Co-founder and chief scientist of crypto asset risk management firm Elliptic, Tom Robinson, said, “Rogue cryptocurrency exchanges have long been key.” Ransomware attackers threaten to push victim information, but most of the time, the files stay encrypted, and if the ransom is not paid, they don’t release the decryption key. This can be pretty bothering, and it may translate to many essential data even for individual professionals. The department has given “recommendations focusing on strengthening defensive and resilience measures to prevent and protect against ransomware attacks.”

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