Ransomware: Industrial services top the hit list – but cyber criminals are diversifying

Businesses in industrial goods and services are still the most popular target for ransomware attacks, but cyber criminals are increasingly diversifying which organisations they’re extorting. 

Ransomware has become a major cybersecurity issue, as cyber criminals infiltrate networks and encrypt servers and files before demanding a ransom payment – often amounting to millions of dollars in cryptocurrencies – in exchange for the decryption key. 

In a significant number of cases, the victim will give in to the demands and pay the ransom. This might be because they don’t have back-ups, because the criminals threaten to leak stolen data if they’re not paid, or simply because the victim perceives paying to the ransom be the quickest means of restoring the network. Yet in reality, even with the correct decryption key, services can remain disrupted for a long time after the event. 

In an analysis of over 3,000 reported ransomware attacks between July and September this year, cybersecurity researchers at Digital Shadows found that industrial goods and services was the most commonly reported sector, accounting for almost double the number of incidents that affected the second most affected industry – technology. 

One of the most significant ransomware attacks this year affected an industrial environment, when Colonial Pipeline fell victim to DarkSide ransomware.  The cyber attack

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