A recent report has suggested that 74% of all money made through ransomware attacks in 2021 went to Russian hackers. The total sum of the money extorted was well over $400 million in cryptocurrency.
Researchers also pointed out that many Russian companies are responsible for crypto-currency-based money laundering. Interestingly, over half of these companies operate in the same Moscow City skyscraper: Federation Tower.
“In any given quarter, the illicit and risky addresses account for between 29% and 48% of all funds received by Moscow City crypto-currency businesses.”Chainanalysis Report
The report also named some notable businesses from Moscow involved in cryptocurrency money laundering. These companies have received millions of dollars from darknet markets, scams, fraud shops, and ransomware operators.
Several allegations accuse Russia of harboring cyber-criminals. However, Russian President Vladimir Putin has denied such accusations. Russian authorities have even worked with the U.S. to dismantle the REvil ransomware group.
The report follows the flow of money to cyber-criminal gangs who operate in Russia on Russian-speaking forums. Researchers have also found links to Evil Corp – an alleged cyber-crime group wanted by the U.S.
The Evil Corp is a group of Russian hackers responsible for 9.9% of all known ransomware revenue. They continue to operate to this day despite U.S. sanctions and indictments. The Russian government seemingly lets them operate freely despite knowing about their existence.
Igor Turashev, one of the accused leaders of Evil Corp, is known to operate several businesses outside Moscow City’s Federation Tower. The prestigious skyscraper is now home to many Russian hackers and cryptocurrency money laundering.