Report finds ransomware payments exceed $1 billion in 2023


Ransomware Task Force Report: Doubling Down on Efforts to Combat Ransomware

The rate and scale of ransomware attacks have reached alarming levels, with ransom payments exceeding $1 billion for the first time in 2023, according to a recent report by the Ransomware Task Force (RTF). The 36-page progress report titled “Doubling Down,” released in April 2024, underscores the persistent threat of ransomware despite collaborative efforts to combat it by various sectors.

The Institute for Security and Technology (IST), the California-based think tank behind the RTF report, reviewed the recommendations it made in a 2021 report on combating ransomware. The report revealed that only half of the 48 original recommendations have seen significant action, while 20 are in preliminary stages, and four remain unaddressed.

The IST is urging a “doubling down” on efforts to implement the remaining recommendations, particularly those requiring legislative action from the US government. The report highlighted the need for a comprehensive strategy to deter ransomware attacks through national and international coordination.

A special event, announced with the hashtag “#24in24,” will focus on the remaining 24 recommendations and how to enhance efforts to combat ransomware. The event will feature discussions, keynotes, and expert panels from across the ransomware ecosystem.

Key statistics from the report show a significant increase in ransomware attacks on critical infrastructure, with victims incurring over $1 billion in crypto payments. The report also emphasizes the importance of harmonizing incident reporting mechanisms, expanding international collaboration, and increasing deterrence efforts.

The RTF is calling for increased transparency from governments in addressing ransomware, as the threat poses significant risks to national security, economic stability, and critical services. The think tank believes that disrupting ransomware at scale will require intensified efforts from all stakeholders, including governments, civil society, and industry.

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