Russian Hackers Received 74% Of All the Money Made Through Ransomware Attacks in 2021

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Researchers claim that over $400 million in crypto-currency transfers went to companies “highly likely to be affiliated with Russia.” Russia has denied claims that it serves as a sanctuary for cybercriminals. However, according to the experts, Russian crypto-companies are involved in “much cryptocurrency-based money laundering.”

According to Chainlysis, which conducted the study, it could track money flow to and from known hacker groups’ digital wallets using public blockchain transaction logs. According to analysts, they can tell which hacker groups are Russian since they exhibit certain features, such as: if the victim’s computers are located in Russia or a CIS country, their ransomware code is created to prevent it from destroying files. The gang communicates in Russian on Russian-language message boards. The team is tied to Evil Corp, a suspected cyber-crime ring that the US is looking for. The study makes a decisive contribution body of evidence that several cyber-criminal groups are active in Russia and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), an intergovernmental organization of Russian-speaking former Soviet states. However, because the analysis primarily looks at many run affiliates operations-effectively renting out the equipment needed to conduct attacks on others-it’s unclear where the individual hackers who work for the significant gangs are originated from. After a series of high-profile and disruptive episodes, such as on Ireland’s health service and a US oil pipeline, a major worldwide operation was started in 2021 to halt ransomware criminals. 

 

Alleged hackers have been caught in Romania, Ukraine, South Korea, and Kuwait. The US has also collected millions of dollars from several ransomware culprits’ digital wallets. In addition, Russia has denied for years that it is a haven for hackers. At his 2021 summit with US President Joe Biden, Russian President Vladimir Putin informed reporters that his intelligence reveals, “Russia is not mentioned in this ranking of countries that see the most significant amount of cyber-attacks from their territory.” Last month, however, Russian authorities declared that, at the request of the US, they had disbanded ransomware group REvil. This is a rare instance of the US and Russia cooperating on cybercrime.

Image Courtesy: BBC News

Last month, however, Russian authorities declared that, at the request of the US, they had will be disbanded ransomware outfit REvil. This is a rare instance of the US and Russia cooperating on cybercrime. Even though the US has sanctioned and indicted the suspected cyber-crime organization, which is operating in Russia with seeming impunity, according to Chainalysis, Evil Corp collects 9.9% of all known ransomware money. An investigation in November found that Igor Turashev, one of the accused leaders of Evil Corp, is operating several businesses out of Moscow City’s Federation Tower. The tower is one of Russia’s most elite addresses, with flats fetching millions of dollars and significant housing firms. Hackers allegedly exploited numerous crypto-currency companies situated in the tower to launder illicit assets, transforming crypto-currency from digital wallet addresses to regular money, according to Chainalysis. Researchers claim that “in any given quarter, illegitimate and dangerous addresses account for between 29 and 48 percent of all funds received by Moscow City crypto-currency enterprises.”

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