Russian Hackers Nab 74% Of Ransomware Revenue
According to researchers, more than $400 million in cryptocurrency payments went to groups “highly likely to be affiliated with Russia.”
The researchers claim a significant amount of crypto-currency-based money laundering goes through Russian crypto-companies.
Research company Chainalysis followed the money flow to and from digital wallets of known hacking groups, using public blockchain transaction records.
As a result, they know which hacking groups are Russian due to a number of characteristics.
For a start, the ransomware code is written to prevent it from damaging files if it detects a victim’s are located in Russia, or the group operate in Russian or Russian-speaking forums.
Another tip-off is if the group is linked to Evil Corp, an alleged cyber-crime group wanted by the US.
Despite Russian president Vladimir Putin saying, “Russia is not listed in this ranking of countries that see the most significant number of cyber-attacks from their territory,” Russia recently dismantled ransomware group REvil at the request of the US.
This was a very rare example of the countries collaborating on cyber-crime.
Still, the Chainalysis report says 9.9 per cent of all known ransomware revenue goes to Evil Corp, who operate out of Russia, seemingly without impunity.
A BBC investigation last year found one of Evil Corp’s accused leaders, Igor Turashev, operates several businesses out of Federation Tower in Moscow.