A study by blockchain investigations firm Chainalysis verified that cybercrime gangs often switch ransomware-as-a-service suppliers as they seek better profits.
The modern ransomware ecosystem consists of coders who create and rent out ransomware, sometimes to anyone who subscribes, or to verified clients (affiliates) who typically spread the malware or launch attacks on networks; sometimes affiliates are themselves multiple gangs, executing specialized operations.
Chainalysis confirmed this interconnected landscape using cryptographic traces of bitcoin transactions among the ransomware groups.
The researchers found evidence of affiliates waging multiple ransomware attacks, while the operators of several campaigns used the same services to launder the stolen funds.
Chainalysis said this could actually benefit law enforcement, because "the evidence suggests that the ransomware world is smaller than one may initially think, given the number of unique strains currently operating."
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