Ransomware Attacks Demanding Crypto Are Unfortunately Here to Stay

Year after year, the ransomware landscape changes dramatically. In 2019, a new resurgence of attacks occurred as businesses and government institutions became the main targets of ransomware, given their capacity to yield larger payouts.

The most recent attack was against Garmin, a navigation systems company, on July 23. Due to the attack, many of its online services such as customer support, website functions and company communications were affected. Reportedly, the Russian cybergang Evil Corp launched the attack, demanding $10 million in cryptocurrency to restore access to Garmin’s services.

Overall, according to a report by anti-malware software firm Malwarebytes, there was a 365% increase in ransomware attacks against businesses between the second quarter of 2018 and the second quarter of 2019.

Other reports show that 948 United States government agencies and healthcare and education institutions were affected by ransomware attacks in 2019. Apart from the cost of paying ransomware to attackers, government institutions in the U.S. also spent at least $176 million on rebuilding and restoring the networks, investigating the attacks, and putting up preventative measures.

Increased attacks in 2020

So far, 2020 has seen an increase in the number of attacks, partially due to the coronavirus pandemic. Already, government and health institutions, private businesses and educational establishments have spent a whopping $144 million to deal with ransomware attacks. Most worryingly, the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation recently reported a 75% increase in ransomware attacks on healthcare entities. Most of these attacks are conducted through email-based phishing exploits, and the attackers demand crypto as payment.

Alberto Daniel Hill, a whitehat hacker and cybersecurity consultant, told Cointelegraph that “attacks on medical providers/hospitals are something that cybercriminals target as it is much likely for that kind of company to pay.” Hill further added:…

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