Crypto ransomware attacks rose in the first half of 2023. However, scammers earned 77% less revenue compared to the same period in 2022, according to the Crypto Crime Mid-Year report by Chainalysis
Crypto ransomware attacks surged in H1 per Chainalysis
Crypto ransomware attacks in 2023, the report notes, rose following a contraction in 2022. In the first half of 2023 alone, ransom attacks amounted to $449.1 million.
The finding suggests that if this trend continues throughout the rest of the year, ransomware attackers could potentially surpass the $939.9 million extorted from victims in 2021, indicating a potential increase in revenues.
The update highlights an increase in both “very small” and “very large” ransomware payments in 2023. Notably, sophisticated strains such as Cl0p and ALPHV/Blackcat, written in the Rust programming language, recorded an average payment size of $1,730,486 and $1,504,579, respectively.
On the other hand, low-level ransomware strains, including Dharma, Phobos, Stop/djvu, and BlackBasta, reported average payment sizes of $265, $1,719, $619, and $762,634, respectively.
“It is clear that the ransomware ecosystem has rebounded in 2023 regarding payments and attacks. The data is an important reminder that ransomware remains a significant threat and that businesses should continue to shore up their cybersecurity and data backup procedures for added protection.”
Crypto scams decline
In the first half of 2023, there was a noticeable decline in crypto-related crime, as indicated by reduced inflows to illicit wallet addresses, despite multiple crypto scam schemes and rug pulls.
Notably, scammers generated 77% less revenue during this period compared to the previous year. This decrease can be attributed to the collapse of VidiLook and Chai Tai Tianqing, two scam schemes that illicitly obtained significant sums of money from victims.
Despite a 49% increase in fund transfers to impersonation scam orchestrators in H1 2023, the total amount lost is lower than the previous year, indicating fewer crypto investors falling victim to such schemes.
Chainalysis attributes the decline in crypto crime in H1 2023 to the concerted efforts by blockchain participants in public and private sectors. Additionally, proactive measures by law enforcement agencies have played a key role in bringing hackers and scammers to book.