FinCEN warns on ransomware as data show spike in incidents

The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) issued its most recent Financial Trend Analysis of ransomware-related Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) filings for 2021, indicating that ransomware continued to pose a significant threat to US critical infrastructure sectors, businesses, and the public.

The report focuses on ransomware trends in Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) filings from July-December 2021, and addresses the extent to which a substantial number of ransomware attacks appear to be connected to actors in Russia.

Source: FinCEN

“Today’s report reminds us that ransomware — including attacks perpetrated by Russian-linked actors — remain a serious threat to our national and economic security,” said FinCEN acting director Himamauli Das, in a statement. “It also underscores the importance of BSA filings, which allow us to uncover trends and patterns in support of whole-of-government efforts to prevent and combat ransomware attacks. Financial institutions play a critical role in helping to protect the United States from ransomware-related threats simply by fulfilling their BSA compliance obligations.”

FinCEN issued the report pursuant to the Anti-Money Laundering Act of 2020 and in response to an increase in the number and severity of ransomware attacks against US critical infrastructure since late 2020. Analysis covers pertinent ransomware activities for calendar year 2021, focuses on the second half of 2021, and builds on the BSA data underlying FinCEN’s October 2021 report. Among the most notable findings in the report:

  • Reported ransomware-related incidents have substantially increased from 2020.
  • Ransomware-related BSA filings in 2021 approached $1.2 billion.
  • Roughly 75% of the ransomware-related incidents reported to FinCEN during the second half of 2021 pertained to Russia-related ransomware variants.

Read the full report

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