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Ryuk Ransomware made $150 Million in Ransom Payments

Ryuk Ransomware made $150 Million in Ransom Payments
Worried Businessman Looking At Laptop With Ransomware Word On The Screen At The Workplace

According to the reports, the Ryuk ransomware made an estimated $150 million in bitcoin. In a joint report issued today, threat intel company, Advanced Intelligence and cybersecurity firm HYAS stated that they traced payments to 61 bitcoin addresses earlier associated and connected to Ryuk ransomware attacks. The Ryuk ransomware came on the radar in August 2018. Moreover, it mainly targeted high-profile organizations. It involves hospitals and newspapers. 

The reports discovered that criminals transfer most of the crypto to exchanges through an intermediary to cash out. After paying victims’ money to the broker, they share it with the Ryuk operators who launder most via laundering services. It then reaches exchanges where it is either drawn out or applied to criminal enterprises.

Ryuk Ransomware utilizes famous crypto exchanges for attacks

Instead of favoring remote crypto exchanges, the criminals employ well-established names, like Binance and Huobi. Both need proof of identity before someone can assign fiat currencies to a bank, though the ransomware gangs are possibly utilizing fake IDs. Ryuk payments are ordinarily in the hundreds of thousands of dollars range. However, some victims end up spending millions. Local governments are a favorite target for the operators; Jackson County and Key Biscayne were impacted by Ryuk, which endures ransomware’s most profitable variant.

 The FBI stated that Ryuk was, by far, the most successful ransomware gang working on the scene, having earned more than $61.26 million from ransom payments in February 2018 and October 2019. This is in regards to the complaints obtained by the FBI Internet Crime Complaint Center. With today’s report and the $150 million figure, it is evident that Ryuk has secured its spot at the peak.

Moreover, other ransomware gangs, like REvil, Maze, and Egregor, are also very famous and have also been very active, infecting hundreds of companies. Nevertheless, there haven’t been any reports on the expected sum these groups have looted. The latest such news came from security firm McAfee in August 2020. The company issued a report predicting that the Netwalker ransomware gang made approximately $25 million in ransom payments in March and August 2020.

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