Hackers got $602M in cryptocurrency ransom in 2021

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Chainalysis found that its 2020 totals reported last year were undervalued at US$350 million, and has now updated its 2020 estimates to over US$692 million.

The number of crypto ransomware payments is increasing, and is expected to soon be the largest in history.

The top three largest ransomware payments last year involved Conti, DarkSide and Phoenix Cryptolocker, with Russia-based Conti extorting at least US$180 million from victims.

Ransomware attacks have become more effective in recent years and they can come in many forms including the use of third party services like hacking tools and the rental of infrastructure.

The report found that as of 2020, three major international crypto exchanges and two cryptocurrency mixing services were receiving 56% of the ransom funds.

Chainalysis reported that ransomware is becoming a tool for attacks in geopolitical conflicts due to the fact that Iran had the most number of suspected links with ransomware strains, followed by Russia, China and North Korea.

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