US pays large sums of money to ransomware hackers

The volume of suspected ransomware payments flagged by US banks has surged this year, on pace to nearly double last year’s, the US Treasury Department said, highlighting the scale of a problem that governments across the world have described as a critical national security threat.

Nearly $600 million in transactions were linked to possible ransomware payments in so-called Suspicious Activity Reports financial services firms filed to the US government in the first six months of this year. That is over 40% more than the total for all of 2020.

In a sign the precise quantity is far greater, Treasury Division investigators in the identical time interval recognized about $5.2 billion in bitcoin transactions as potential ransomware funds.

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