17 February 2024

Why Ransomware Gangs Prosper: The Lucrative Year of 2023

In 2023, ransomware gangs soared financially, capitalizing on new tactics and governmental inaction. Crypto forensics report record ransom payments, totaling over $1 billion.

Why are ransomware gangs making so much money?

2023 marked a record-breaking year for ransomware gangs in terms of earnings, exacerbating financial strains for businesses while cybercriminals employ ever-more-extreme tactics to secure their payments.

The billion-dollar cybercrime business

Crypto forensics firm Chainalysis reports nearly double the ransom payments in 2023 over the previous year, crossing the $1 billion threshold, with actual figures possibly much higher. Despite a year-end dip due to improved cyber defenses, the damage done by successful ransomware campaigns like the MOVEit hack, which alone accounted for significant ransom earnings, highlights the continuing threat.

Escalating threats and no ban on ransom payments

As organizations wrestle with whether to give in to ransom demands, the absence of a ban on such payments maintains a profitable environment for cybercriminals, who are resorting to increasingly aggressive measures when ransom money is on the line. Discussions around the potential effectiveness of such a ban are ongoing, as more victims become skeptical of the assurances provided by hackers.

ransomware, cybercrime, 2023 earnings, ransom payments, hacking tactics, cyber security, extortion gangs, ransomware victims, governmental policies, crypto forensics

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