Updated Feb 10, 2024 - Technology

Ransomware gangs collected record $1.1 billion from attacks in 2023

Data: Chainalysis; Chart: Axios Visuals
Data: Chainalysis; Chart: Axios Visuals

Hackers made off with roughly $1.1 billion from ransomware attacks in 2023 — setting a record, according to a new report from cryptocurrency tracing firm Chainalysis.

Why it matters: Hackers follow the money, and they're quick to adapt their tactics to counteract law enforcement attempts to squash ransomware.

By the numbers: In 2023, ransomware hackers brought in roughly double 2022's total of $567 million in cryptocurrency from cyberattacks.

Yes, but: Other reports have suggested that the total number of victims paying up went down last year — suggesting hackers are asking for more money in each attack.

  • Precise ransomware statistics also tend to vary depending on which victims vendors work with and how payments are made.

Between the lines: For some businesses, it is sometimes cheaper to pay a ransom than to lose revenue from downed services and locked systems.

  • Chainalysis also attributes the rise in payments in 2023 to the growing number of gangs getting involved in ransomware.

What we're watching: Anne Neuberger, deputy national security adviser for cyber and emerging technology at the White House, told reporters Thursday that the administration is eyeing "a set of new policy options" to tackle the latest ransomware surge.

  • "We have a number of them lined up that we are making some final decisions on," Neuberger added.
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