FinCEN report: Ransomware filings more than double from 2020 to 2021

Ransomware continues to threaten critical U.S. infrastructure, businesses and the public, and the threats are expanding significantly, according to the most recent financial trend analysis of ransomware-related Bank Secrecy Act filings from the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network.

Filings substantially increased from 487 in 2020 to 1,489 in 2021, and the value of ransomware-related BSA filings in 2021 approached $1.2 billion—a 188% increase compared to the previous year. Today’s report covers pertinent ransomware activities for calendar year 2021, focuses on the second half of the year (July-December), and builds on the BSA data underlying FinCEN’s October 2021 report, which covered January-June 2021.

Notably, a substantial number of ransomware attacks appear to be connected to actors in Russia. Roughly 75% of the ransomware-related incidents reported to FinCEN during the second half of 2021 pertained to Russia-related ransomware variants, the report noted. In addition to Russia’s influence and an overall increase of incidents, the increase also could potentially reflect improved reporting and detection efforts by government and banks.

“Financial institutions play a critical role in helping to protect the United States from ransomware-related threats simply by fulfilling their BSA compliance obligations,” said FinCEN Acting Director Himamauli Das.