Netwalker Ransomware Collects $25M In 4 Months
Netwalker Emerges As The Most Profitable Ransomware In 2020
Cybersecurity firm McAfee recently announced that the most profitable ransomware in 2020 is NetWalker. In the last four months, the ransomware has raked in $25 million. From March to July, the group brought in a total of 2,795 Bitcoin, thus making it the most profitable ransomware ventures in cybercrime.
According to the study presented by McAfee, the Bitcoin received by the organization shows that NetWalker is a “ransomware-as-a-service” malware. The group usually splits its transactions among different bitcoin addresses. Such tactics mean that it brings in a massive chunk of money from its affiliate revenue sharing it provides different operators.
Reinforcing Its Grip
As McAfee says, NetWalker is moving its operations to SegWit addresses. These new addresses are faster than the typical bitcoin addresses, and they offer a reduced cost. This ties in with the fact that NetWalker is now a ransomware-as-a-service model.
There have been some notable posts on darknet forums relating to NetWalker actors offering the ransomware along with a revenue-sharing scheme to give the malware much publicity as well as make it much profitable.
“NetWalker is a big game hunter and responsible for numerous attacks on larger public sector organizations as well as private sector companies. Working out the amount ransomware groups make is exceptionally difficult and, as McAfee states, the figure of $25 million is almost certainly an underestimate. Globally, companies paid more than $25 billion in ransom demands in 2019,” Brett Callow, a threat analyst mentioned.
From the study, it would seem that NetWalker is mainly targeting the US, as well as European countries. The group mentioned that because of the pandemic, it won’t target hospitals. However, there have been reports that some hospitals have been targeted.
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