US banks anticipate paying more than $1 billion in ransomware in 2021.


According to Treasury Department statistics released exclusively with CNN, US financial institutions reported more over $1 billion in potential ransomware-related payments in 2021, more than double the amount from the previous year and the most ever reported.

The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network report from the Treasury finds that all five hacking tools that were used to make the most payments in the second half of 2021 are linked to Russian hackers (FinCEN).

CNN News report that, the research sheds light on a critical national security issue that the Biden administration has worked to address ever since a major US pipeline operator was forced to shut down for days in May 2021 due to a ransomware attack.

It occurs as the Biden administration gathers twelve ally nations in Washington this week to discuss how to stop the flow of illegal ransom payments and strengthen organisations’ defences against cyberattacks. Russia is conspicuously absent from the negotiations this week.

According to Treasury, the substantial rise in reported ransomware payments may reflect banks’ improved tracking and reporting of the payments as well as a general pattern of a high number of ransomware assaults across businesses.

The Treasury Department’s analysis draws on reports that US banks are required to file with regulators to prevent money laundering. It includes data from US banks and international banks with US customers. It covers things like extortion amounts and attempted ransom payments made by banks or their customers.

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