The latest Crypto Crime Mid-year Update by Chainalysis has revealed a significant increase in ransomware payments during the first half of 2022, with $449.1 million (£343.3m) extorted through this method. The figure represents a $175.8 million (£134.4m) increase over the same period in 2021. In contrast, payments for other cybercrime activities have fallen 65% this year. The rise in ransomware payments is attributed to the resurgence of "big game hunting" targeting large organisations and an increase in successful smaller attacks. The decline in ransomware payments in 2021 resulted from fewer victims opting to pay the ransom and law enforcement actions and sanctions against cryptocurrency exchanges. The invasion of Ukraine by Russia in February 2022 also impacted last year's decline as the conflict likely diverted ransomware operators away from financially motivated cyber intrusions.
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