CipherTrace recently reported that the spontaneous growth in the legitimate use of cryptocurrencies dwarfed its use for illicit activities. It further stated that illicit use constituted just 0.15% of cryptocurrency transaction volume in 2021.
Despite this reduction in overall transaction volume, blockchain data platform Chainalysis revealed that some illegal activities have been on the rise. In response, it announced its “crypto incident response program”, a 24/7 hotline service accessible by cyber attacks victims.
Crypto incident report service
In a June 22 post on its website, Chainalysis stated that illicit activities such as theft of funds through hacks and ransomware are on the rise. It noted this as a security risk that might expose users to scams and lead to a lack of trust in the ecosystem.
As detailed in the post:
“The rapid response service is for organizations who have been targets of a cyber attack or unauthorized network intrusion that involves a cryptocurrency theft or demand.”
The response service will function through a 24/7 hotline where victims of cyber attacks can access immediate support.
The victims will be sent to a team of investigative experts to help trace the stolen funds. However, if the funds have been transferred, the team will liaise with law enforcement and asset recovery counsel for its recovery.
Hacks, ransomware at an all-time high
An analysis in the website post showed that ransomware attackers netted $731 million in 2021. Kim Grauer, Chainalysis’ head of research, also stated that the average ransomware payment jumped 34% in 2021 as criminals went after bigger targets.
2022 has witnessed several hacks and exploitation, resulting in loss of funds. According to crypto security firm Immunefi, hackers have netted over $1.2 billion in Q1 2022 instead of the $154 million lost to hacks in Q1 2021.
In addition, most of the hacks have been recorded on cross-bridge platforms. Wormhole and Ronin alone make up for the lion’s share of crypto losses occurring in Q1 2022.