Russia responsible for 74% of ransomware attacks in world, hackers bagged $400mn in crypto: Report

WION Web Team
New Delhi Updated: Feb 17, 2022, 09:37 AM(IST)

Representative image. Photograph:( Zee News Network )

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Analysts also claimed that “a huge amount of crypto-currency-based money laundering” goes through Russian crypto-companies.

Russia is said to be linked to a majority of ransomware and cyber attacks across the world, according to new report which claims that 74 per cent of revenue made through such attacks last year went to Russian-linked hackers.

According to a new report from cryptocurrency tracking and analytics firm, Chainalysis, more than $400 million worth of crypto-currency payments went to groups “highly likely to be affiliated with Russia” in 2021.

Analysts also claimed that “a huge amount of crypto-currency-based money laundering” goes through Russian crypto-companies.

The study is part of Chainalysis’ 2022 Crypto Crime Report focused on several dozen companies with a presence in Moscow city.

The report states that there are three key characteristics that reveal the Russian hand behind such cyberattacks.

Firstly, their ransomware code is written to prevent it from damaging files if it detects the victim's computers are located in Russia or a Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) country- an intergovernmental organisation of Russian-speaking, former Soviet countries.

Secondly, the gang operates in Russian on Russian-speaking forums.

And thirdly, the gang is linked to Evil Corp - an alleged cyber-crime group wanted by the US.

“A huge amount of cryptocurrency-based money laundering, not just of ransomware funds but of funds associated with other forms of cybercrime as well, goes through services with substantial operations in Russia,” Chainalysis says in a blog post.

According to a Bloomberg report, the Federation Tower, located in the heart of Moscow City, houses several prominent businesses headquarters and a thriving cybercrime collective.

For years Russia has denied that it was harbouring hackers.

Russian President Vladimir Putin told reporters at his 2021 summit with US President Joe Biden that his own intelligence shows "Russia is not listed in this ranking of countries that see the most significant number of cyber-attacks from their territory."

(With inputs from agencies)

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