Ransomware: The Rising Face of Cybercrime

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Ransomware Gaining Traction

The rate of ransomware has significantly increased for every industry examined over the last 12 months. Cyber criminals are making a lucrative business through ransomware attacks. Hospitals, in particular, may pay a ransom because their patient data is critical in life-or-death situations. This was the case with Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center earlier this year, which chose to pay a $17,000 ransom to hackers who had locked some of the hospital's critical data. MedStar Health, another medical center, reported earlier this year that malware had caused a shutdown of some systems at its hospitals in Baltimore. Methodist Hospital in Henderson, Kentucky even declared an internal state of emergency after its systems were attacked by a strain of ransomware known as Locky.

In 1989, long before the widespread adoption of the internet, cyber criminals were using floppy disks to spread ransomware across computers. Today's cyber criminals have evolved their approach using advanced strains of ransomware that encrypt data on an organization's network or lock users out of their devices. These hackers then demand a ransom, typically in the form of Bitcoin, before restoring the data back to normal.

Ransomware is a legitimate threat, with estimates from the U.S. Department of Justice showing that over 4,000 of these attacks have occurred every day since the beginning of the year.

In a recent industry report by BitSight, researchers analyzed the growing trend of ransomware across nearly 20,000 companies to identify common forms of ransomware, and identify which industries are most susceptible to these types of attacks. This slideshow highlights the findings of this recent report.

 

Related Topics : Unisys, Stimulus Package, Security Breaches, Symantec, Electronic Surveillance

 
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