Computer Crime Research Center


An anatomy of crypto-enabled cyber crime

Date: August 26, 2022
Source: Computer Crime Research Center

Assembling a diverse set of public, proprietary, and hand-collected data including dark web conversations in Russian, we conduct the first detailed anatomy of crypto-enabled cybercrimes and highlight relevant economic issues.

Our analyses reveal that a few organized ransomware gangs dominate the space and have evolved into sophisticated firm-like operations with physical offices, franchising, and affiliation programs.

Their techniques also have become more aggressive over time, entailing multiple layers of extortion and reputation management.

That is from the synopsis of an interesting new paper by Lin William Cong, Campbell Harvey, Daniel Rabetti and Zong-Yu Wu. It is a fairly comprehensive look at the criminal ecosystem built on top of the cryptocurrency boom, ranging from hacking, money laundering, scams, ransomware, sextortion and illegal commerce.

Obviously, the data on these crimes are pretty murky, but when it comes to organised ransomware, Chainalysis reckons that the biggest gangs ??” primarily Conti, DarkSide, and Phoenix Cryptolocker ??” extorted at least $180mn from victims in 2021.

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