Analyst firm Chainalysis reported that ransomware-linked addresses received at least $81 mln in crypto this year, up from $406 mln for all of 2020. Chainalysis stressed that the figure of $81 mln should be considered a minimum for now, as this figure is likely to grow as new addresses of ransomware are identified.
A few days ago, the operator of the largest fuel pipeline system in the United States, Colonial Pipeline, paid hackers a ransom of $5 mln in bitcoins because its system was infected with ransomware. This led to the shutdown of the pipeline system, which allegedly supplies nearly half of the fuel to the US east coast.
Data released last week by analyst firm Elliptic identified the DarkSide bitcoin wallet, showing that a 75 BTC payment from Colonial Pipeline was made on May 8th. The wallet also featured a $4.4 mln payment made by Brenntag, a European chemicals distributor that was also affected by the ransomware.