How Much Ransomware Revenue Goes to Hackers?

Published on: January 8, 2023
Last Updated: January 8, 2023

Quick Answer πŸ”

How much ransomware revenue goes to hackers in 2023?

Ransomware hackers generated $1.3 billion in a two-year timeline from 2020 to 2021.

Specifically, ransom payments hit $602 million in 2020 and grew further to $692 million in 2021.

Ransomware, or releasing hacked data in exchange for payment, is a lucrative business for hackers.

This malicious activity rakes millions of dollars annually and affects more than 50% of all companies worldwide. 

Exactly how much ransomware revenue goes to hackers?

It sure is a lot! Tune in until the end of the article to learn many interesting facts about cybercrime. 

How Much Ransomware Revenue Goes to Hackers in 2023?

How Many Ransomware Attacks Are There Per Day

Ransomware attacks come with a hefty price tag that victims have to pay in exchange for retrieving back their data. 

According to a report from Bloomberg, ransomware hackers generated $1.3 billion in a two-year timeline from 2020 to 2021.

Specifically, ransom payments hit $602 million in 2020 and grew further to $692 million in 2021

These are sharp increases from pre-pandemic data – ransomware cost came at only $39 million in 2018 and $152 million in 2019.

A report from BBC shows 74% of ransomware revenue goes to Russian hackers.

Nowadays, the majority of these payments come in cryptocurrency.

Despite the public’s free access to blockchain transactions that make the traceability of criminals easier, in reality, hackers prefer to ask for a ransom in cryptocurrency as it conceals their identity. 

Moreover, digital currencies are easier to launder or inject into the legal monetary system than traditional methods. 

The Average Cost of Ransomware Attacks

Another study shows businesses, with small to medium enterprises the frequent targets, shell out $2.2 million to recover from a ransomware attack on average

In a more detailed look, the average cost of ransomware stood at $906,000 in 2020 with $303,000 in ransom payments made.

Whereas the data grew to $2.2 million in 2021, with $541,0000 payments given for settlement. 

More than 30% of all victims pay a ransom. Sadly, most of them retrieve only 60% of their original data.

Meanwhile, more than 50% of enterprises manage to get around the attack by leveraging a backup. 

A good number of small businesses fail to recover from a ransomware attack due to the high cost of recovery which leads to bankruptcy. 

Different Types of Ransomware Attacks

There are many kinds of ransomware attacks affecting governments, companies, and individuals.

We give you a list of the top 10 most common types, including each’s market share from the total.

  1. Sodinokibi (REvil) – 14.2% of all ransomware attacks are from this type, making it the most common variant of all
  2. Conti V2 – 10.2% of all ransomware attacks are from this type
  3. Lockbit – 7.5% of all ransomware attacks are from this type
  4. Clop – 7.1% of all ransomware attacks are from this type
  5. Egregor – 5.3% of all ransomware attacks are from this type
  6. Avaddon – 4.4% of all ransomware attacks are from this type
  7. Ryuk – 4.0% of all ransomware attacks are from this type
  8. Darkside – 3.5% of all ransomware attacks are from this type
  9. Suncrypt – 3.1% of all ransomware attacks are from this type
  10. Netwalker – 3.1% of all ransomware attacks are from this type

Businesses and Ransomware

Ransomware is one of the pressing problems businesses face nowadays.

Survey shows the percentage of businesses affected by a ransomware attack has grown significantly from 2018 to 2022.

Check out this data from Statista detailing the percentage of organizations falling victim to ransomware attacks globally in a four-year timeline.

  • 2018 – 55.1% of all businesses globally have been a victim of a ransomware attack during the year
  • 2019 – 56.1% of all businesses globally have been a victim of a ransomware attack during the year
  • 2020 – 62.4% of all businesses globally have been a victim of a ransomware attack during the year
  • 2021 – 68.5% of all businesses globally have been a victim of a ransomware attack during the year
  • 2022 – 71.0% of all businesses globally have been a victim of a ransomware attack during the year

The data above shows an alarming ransomware infection rate of 71.0% among all businesses this year, a sharp increase from its 55.1% level in 2018.

Countries with the Highest Ransomware Infections

Countries with high internet penetration rates suffer from the double-edged sword of having high ransomware infection rates.

Here are the top countries with the highest ransomware infections in 2019:

  • Saudi Arabia – the country recorded an 88% ransomware infection rate during the year
  • Turkey – the country recorded a 74% ransomware infection rate during the year
  • China – the country recorded a 69% ransomware infection rate during the year
  • Spain – the country recorded a 66% ransomware infection rate during the year
  • South Africa – the country recorded a 66% ransomware infection rate during the year
  • Mexico – the country recorded a 61% ransomware infection rate during the year
  • Italy – the country recorded a 58% ransomware infection rate during the year
  • United Kingdom – the country recorded a 57% ransomware infection rate during the year
  • United States – the country recorded a 54% ransomware infection rate during the year
  • Germany – the country recorded a 51% ransomware infection rate during the year
  • Canada – the country recorded a 46% ransomware infection rate during the year
  • France – the country recorded a 44% ransomware infection rate during the year
  • Australia – the country recorded a 40% ransomware infection rate during the year
  • Japan – the country recorded a 38% ransomware infection rate during the year

Overall Global Ransomware Cost 

Ransomware

The global cost of all types of ransomware is expected to keep growing in the coming years. Here is the forecasted cost landscape from 2024 to 2031.

A big chunk of this ransomware revenue goes to hackers:

  • 2024 – the global cost of ransomware is forecasted to hit $42 billion during the year
  • 2026 – the global cost of ransomware is forecasted to hit $71.50 billion during the year
  • 2028 – the global cost of ransomware is forecasted to hit $157 billion during the year
  • 2031 – the global cost of ransomware is forecasted to hit $265 billion during the year

Conclusion

74% of ransomware revenue goes to hackers. This is why this type of malicious activity is growing – attackers get lucrative money doing it.

These cyber threats are even sold on the dark web for a hefty price.

On average, businesses have to cover $2.2 million in costs to pay ransom fees, and many cannot afford to shell out such an amount, leading to bankruptcy.

Sources

Cyber Security VenturesStatistaBloomberg
Cyber Security VenturesBBCCloud Wards
ZdNetPalo Alto NetworksTech Informed
Cloud WardsGraphusCNBC
StatistaStatistaDark Reading
Bleeping Computer

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Written by Jason Wise

Hello! I’m the editor at EarthWeb, with a particular interest in business and technology topics, including social media, privacy, and cryptocurrency. As an experienced editor and researcher, I have a passion for exploring the latest trends and innovations in these fields and sharing my insights with our readers. I also enjoy testing and reviewing products, and you’ll often find my reviews and recommendations on EarthWeb. With a focus on providing informative and engaging content, I am committed to ensuring that EarthWeb remains a leading source of news and analysis in the tech industry.
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