- Ransomware resurgence in 2023: Record payouts of more than $1 billion, marking a turnaround from decline in 2022.
- Diversification in methods of attack and money laundering: Participation of various actors, change towards more sophisticated laundering methods.
- Crucial role of Initial Access Brokers (IABs): They facilitate attacks by providing access to networks, showing a correlation with the increase in ransomware payments.
The resurgence of ransomware in 2023 marked a turning point in cybersecurity, with record payouts surpassing $1 billion, according to the Chainalysis report.
After a decline in 2022, this rebound represented a significant change in trend, evidencing a growing threat to institutions and companies around the world.
The report notes that various actors, from large unions to small groups and individuals, participated in these attacks.
This suggests widespread involvement in ransomware activities, with an increase in their frequency and complexity.
Additionally, the report highlights the rise of Initial Access Brokers (IABs), who facilitated attacks by providing network access sold at relatively low costs.
This proved to be a crucial factor in the rise of ransomware payments
Indicating the need for greater surveillance and preventive action against these entities.
Diversification in money laundering methods was also evident in 2023, with a shift towards services such as blockchain bridges, instant exchangers, and gaming services.
This evolution was due to a number of factors, including disruptions to traditional laundering methods, stricter AML/KYC policies, and the preferences of new ransomware actors.
Chainalysis noted a significant concentration on specific services within each money laundering category, highlighting the need for greater oversight in this space.
The relationship between funds flowing to IABs and the increase in hack payments underscores the importance of addressing these intermediaries in the fight against ransomware.
Identifying and monitoring IABs could provide early indicators to intervene and mitigate potential attacks.
Chainalysis report on ransomware payments in 2023 provides a detailed look at the growing threat posed by this form of cybercrime.
With record payouts, an increase in the sophistication of attacks and an evolution in money laundering methods, the need for a coordinated and effective international response to combat this growing threat is evident.