It can be safely stated that ransomware has become the topmost threat in the cyber landscape. Ransomware actors are constantly upping their TTPs and finding new ways to make profits. A new report by Chainalysis states that ransomware victims spent almost $700 million in ransom in 2020. 

What else does the report say?

  • The total ransom paid in 2020 amounted to $692 million and for 2021, the value was $602 million.
  • However, the first half of 2021 amassed more ransom than the first half of 2020, signifying that last year was a bigger year for ransomware. 
  • What’s shocking is that Conti gained the highest ransom, amounting to $180 million, followed by Evil Corp at $85 million. 
  • Last year witnessed a huge number of individual ransom variants with at least 140 of them receiving ransom payments. The number was 119 and 79 for 2020 and 2019, respectively. 
  • The average ransom payment increased from $88,000 in 2020 to $118,000 in 2021. 

More on Conti

  • Chainalysis identified the Conti ransomware group as the only ransomware that stayed active throughout the entire year. 
  • The gang has been on the radar of the U.S. government for months. In mid-2021, the FBI and CISA identified more than 400 attacks related to Conti. 
  • Not very long ago, the group attacked KP Snacks and sabotaged its IT systems, which led to supply chain problems. Due to this devastating attack, the company would not be able to deliver placed orders until at least March-end.
  • In January, Conti allegedly compromised Taiwan-based Delta Electronics. However, the firm claimed that only non-critical processes were interrupted and operations were not majorly impacted. 

The bottom line

Conti is a closed RaaS operation and hence, skews toward highly sophisticated attacks. While law enforcement agencies are increasingly taking down ransomware groups and seizing stolen funds, ransomware attacks show no signs of slowing down. Not only Conti, but almost every ransomware group is moving toward larger or varied targets and getting better at extorting huge amounts of cryptocurrency.

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