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Crypto crime down 62% but ransomware activity continuing to surge

Funds flowing into known criminal cryptocurrency accounts were down 65% in the first half of 2023 in comparison to the same period in 2022, however ransomware has seen a significant rise in activity and is on track to become one of the biggest years to date according to a report by Chainalysis.

In their Crypto Crime Midyear Update, Chainalysis found that transaction volumes to risky entities like crypto mixers and high-risk exchanges had reduced in activity by 42% year-on-year year while more legitimate services only saw a 28% decrease in transactions.

This is largely due to a decline in cryptocurrency-based scams over the period as scammers made nearly $3.3bn less YoY amassing just over $1bn in the first half of 2023.

Chainalysis says that this fall is largely attributed to the disappearance of VidiLook and Chia Tai Tianqing Pharmaceutical Financial Management, two large investment scams that have ceased activity following a classic exit scam leaving investors out of pocket.

However, ransomware is the only crypto-based crime set to grow in 2023 as attackers have already extorted $176m more than the same period seen in 2022, reversing a downward trend that was forming.

In fact, ransomware attackers are on course for their second-biggest year ever, having extorted at least $449m through June. If this trend continues it's possible that attackers could end up extorting $899m from victims, just falling short of the all-time high of $940m, set in 2021.

The surge in profits can be traced back to the resurgence of large businesses being successfully attacked, alongside an increase in smaller attacks targeting local small-medium enterprises (SMEs).

To learn more on how you can protect your business from ransomware, no matter the size, you can visit the National Cyber Security Centre’s website, which is full of free advice and guidance on how UK businesses can protect themselves from cybercrime.

We also have a wealth of information available in our new Information Pack. You can request this here, and in doing so you shall automatically receive our monthly newsletter and further information packs. There is no charge - we offer this service completely free of charge.



Report all Fraud and Cybercrime to Action Fraud by calling 0300 123 2040 or online. Forward suspicious emails to Report SMS scams by forwarding the original message to 7726 (spells SPAM on the keypad).



The contents of blog posts on this website are provided for general information only and are not intended to replace specific professional advice relevant to your situation. The intention of East Midlands Cyber Resilience Centre (EMCRC) is to encourage cyber resilience by raising issues and disseminating information on the experiences and initiatives of others. Articles on the website cannot by their nature be comprehensive and may not reflect most recent legislation, practice, or application to your circumstances. EMCRC provides affordable services and Trusted Partners if you need specific support. For specific questions please contact us by email.


EMCRC does not accept any responsibility for any loss which may arise from reliance on information or materials published on this blog. EMCRC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites that link to this site or which are linked from it.

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