After holding computers hostage and demanding ransom in bitcoin, the mysterious extortionists behind last week’s massive WannaCrypt ransomware outbreak have collected only about $50,000 in payments, CNBC reports. That’s based on data from Elliptic, which helps law enforcement and bitcoin exchanges trace funds across the cryptocurrency’s network.
But with such expert eyes on the hackers’ virtual bitcoin wallets, it’s unclear if they’d ever be able to actually spend any of that ransom money. Reputable exchanges could blacklist anyone receiving money from those accounts, making the money hard to convert into traditional currency. And if they’re not careful in how they transmit any data to transfer those funds, they could easily attract attention from law enforcement or spy agencies.