Ransomware gangs are feeling the crypto winter's impact


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In context: The crypto winter is impacting more than just investors, miners, and businesses; it's also making cybercriminals rethink their ransomware tactics, often pushing them towards other forms of computer crime such as traditional malware attacks and phishing scams that net them dollars rather than digital currency.

Cryptocurrency prices have crashed over the last couple of months. The biggest of them all, Bitcoin, which hit a record of almost $68,000 late last year, is now hovering around $20,000. The crash has been felt by companies that deal in digital assets, cryptominers, and even entire countries.

The falling price of crypto is also being noticed by ransomware gangs who demand it as payment from victims. As reported by CNET, Mark Lance, vice president of cyberdefense and a ransomware negotiator at GuidePoint Security, writes that the criminals now have to ask for more crypto so they receive the same amount when it's converted into dollars. That can often make the demands look even larger, even though the dollar amount asked is the same.

Like legitimate companies that deal with cryptocurrencies, dark web crypto exchanges are also feeling the pressure. Israel-based threat intelligence firm Cybersixgill writes that around 30 of these exchanges have closed since April, when Bitcoin was about $47,000.

The situation has led some ransomware gangs expanding into other, more traditional forms of cybercrime, including remote-banking trojans, credential-stealing malware, and phishing attacks, all of which result in dollar cash—rather than crypto—gains for the perpetrators.

Lance does note that many ransomware attacks these days don't get as much coverage unless the target is particularly high profile, like AMD, Foxconn, or Nvidia. "Ransomware is still as prevalent as it ever was," he said, "and still making a ton of money."

In May, the FBI warned workers to be wary of business email compromise (BEC) attacks estimated to have stolen $43 billion in five years.

Thanks, CNET

Masthead: Freepik

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Posts: 3,168   +4,247
TechSpot Elite
So, their more convenient laundering sites shutdown because they were holding the coins instead of selling them (or got scared)? Oh no....

But sounds like convenience wins again.

Uncle Al

Posts: 9,363   +8,581
I'm still in favor of public execution of any and all of them. It might not deter the rest but it will eliminate one problem at a time and any gain is worth the effort. The only other thing I'd like is for the victim's to be allowed to push the button!


Posts: 1,277   +1,558
Worldwide death penalty for ransomware haxors when caught! They are only one step above the lame DDOS wannbe haxors.


Posts: 4,560   +6,867
I suppose crypto is as legitimate as any other currency backed by thin air, which is most of them now. Still, hearing about the hucksters suffering does make me smile.