Ransomware payouts hit all-time high, but that’s not the whole story

Ransomware payments hit an all-time high of $1.1 billion in 2023, following a steep drop in total payouts in 2022. Some factors that may have contributed to the decline in 2022 were the Ukraine conflict, fewer victims paying ransoms and cyber group takedowns by legal authorities.

In 2023, however, ransomware payouts came roaring back to set a new all-time record. During 2023, nefarious actors targeted high-profile institutions and critical infrastructure, including hospitals, schools and government agencies.

Still, it’s not all roses for ransomware gangs. Many top-tier groups are struggling to adapt to talent scarcity, Russia-Ukraine war fatigue and repeated disruptions by law enforcement. Let’s take a look at the state of ransomware security today.

New record for ransomware payouts

In 2023, ransomware actors staged a major comeback. This included record-breaking payments and a substantial increase in the scope and complexity of attacks, according to a recent Chainalysis report.

In 2022, a major drop in attacks led to a $416 million decline in ransoms paid (a total of $567 million) compared to 2021. But in 2023, ransomware attacks surged to establish a new record in ransoms paid at $1.1 billion.

As per Chainalysis, reasons for the 2022 decline include the Ukraine War, as some cyber actors diverted their actions toward political motives rather than financial ones. Another factor includes an increasing trend of victims’ reluctance to pay ransoms. Finally, the takedown of ransom ..

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