Report: Hackers Being Laid Off By Organized Crime Groups Amid Improved Cybersecurity

Image copyright: NurPhoto/Getty Images [via Business Insider]

The Facts

  • The Wall Street Journal on Wednesday reported that extortion payments from ransomware fell last year, citing improvements made by companies in their security practices and new tactics adopted by US authorities to tackle such attacks.

  • According to a report by blockchain analysis firm Chainalysis published in January, identified ransomware revenue dropped by more than 40 percent, from $766M in 2021 to $457M in 2022.

The Spin

Narrative A

This development brings to light the success made in avoiding ransomware attacks after companies and the US government stepped in to tackle such threats by cybercriminals. Taking victim-centered, preventive, disruptive action seems to be the way forward in undermining the ransomware business model.

Narrative B

While regulatory efforts and increased awareness may have forced hackers to change their business model, these criminals are not going to simply quit this immensely profitable illegal activity. It is likely that the decline in payments stems from a change in targets, as attackers focus on lower-profile victims to steer clear of officials and the media.

Metaculus Prediction

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