Victims of ransomware attacks in the U.S. have paid about $590 million to criminals demanding payment to unfreeze targeted computers and systems in the first half of 2021, a report by the Treasury Department said Friday.
The Financial Trends Analysis by Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network said that 635 ransomware suspicious activity reports, or SARs, involving 458 payments, were reported through June 30, a 30% increase from all of 2020.
The FinCEN report cited the reported $5 million in untraceable cryptocurrency paid by the Colonial Pipeline to Eastern European hackers in May to free that company’s systems. The attack disrupted gasoline shipments up and down the Eastern Seaboard.
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