In terms of ransomware seizures, the seizure in January 2021 is the largest to far, according to Chainalysis, a blockchain research organisation.
According to blockchain research firm Chainalysis, law enforcement agencies in the United States confiscated nearly $30 million worth of cryptocurrency tied to the NetWalker ransomware in January 2021.
According to Chainalysis, this is the greatest seizure ever associated with ransomware.
Law enforcement officers seized little under 720 bitcoins and 15.7 monero (XMR), which would be worth more than $29.4 million at today’s exchange rates.
The NetWalker virus, which infected and encrypted computer networks, enabled attackers to extort tens of millions of dollars from corporations and governments in 2020. NetWalker operated on a ransomware-as-a-service concept, in which individual hackers carried out the assaults and then shared the profits with the organisation.
In one instance, Sebastien Vachon-Desjardins was identified as a hacker who, according to Chainalysis, had amassed more than $14 million in bitcoin since February 2018, which would be worth $27 million by January 2021. Vachon-Desjardins was sentenced to seven years in prison in Canada earlier this month after pleading guilty to a variety of offences, including “engaging in the activities of a criminal organisation.”
In the wake of the 2016 Bitfinex hack, the news of Vachon-Desjardins’ crypto confiscation comes shortly after the announcement that U.S. authorities had seized bitcoin worth $3.6 billion from the same cryptocurrency exchange.
Disclaimer: These are the writer’s opinions and should not be considered investment advice. Readers should do their own research.