Bitcoin ransomware defrauds over 250 companies for $42m

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Federal Bureau of Investigation officials warn the public about the spread of Akira ransomware.

According to an FBI statement, Akira Bitcoin (BTC) ransomware caused multi-million dollar losses to various companies and organizations in North America, Europe, and Australia.

Malicious software gains access to enterprise infrastructure through a VPN, accessing software without multi-factor authentication. Akira then steals confidential data and essential information, blocking access to the system. Next, a message demanding a ransom is displayed on the screen. Hackers use Bitcoin as a payment method.

As a result of the spread of ransomware, unknown scammers took possession of more than $42 million, affecting more than 250 companies. Initially, the hackers attacked Windows-based computer systems, but later, investigators also identified the Linux version of Akira.

The FBI, together with the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), Europol’s European Cybercrime Center (EC3), and the Netherlands National Cyber Security Center (NCSC-NL), issued a special warning.

The FBI previously released a report on cryptocurrency investment fraud. According to the agency, this figure increased by 53% to $3.94 billion in 2023. As the FBI explained, most of the scams were associated with the promise of high profits from investments in digital assets and account for 86% of all losses from investment fraud in the United States.

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