Ransomware gangs are using these 'ruthless' tactics as they aim for bigger payouts

Ransomware attacks are becoming more sophisticated as cyber criminals continue to develop new techniques to make campaigns more effective and increase their chances of successfully demanding a ransom payment. 

According to the European law enforcement agency Europol there was a 300% increase in the number of ransom payments between 2019 and 2020 alone – and that doesn’t account for 2021 being another bumper year for cyber criminals launching ransomware attacks, as they’ve taken advantage of security vulnerabilities presented by the rise in remote working.  

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Europol’s Internet Organised Crime Threat Assessment (IOCT) shows that while cybercrime, including malware and DDoS attacks, continues to evolve, it’s ransomware attacks that have been a significant amount of disruption over the course of the past year. 

SEE: A winning strategy for cybersecurity (ZDNet special report) 

Several major incidents where cyber criminals have targeted supply chainscritical infrastructurehospitals and more have showed how disruptive a successful ransomware attack can be.  

Desperate to get the decryption key needed to decrypt encrypted files and servers, many organisations that fall victim to ransomware attacks will pay the ransom, which can cost millions of dollars in Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies.  

One of the reasons ransomware attacks have become more effective is because cyber criminals have become more hands-on

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