Everywhere you look, you’ll hear the words “ransomware” or files being encrypted. Although “ransomware” was a foreign term in the past, it is now a well-known term thanks to the constant bombardment of such attacks on our daily lives. Ransomware is a type malware that locks your computer and threatens you with unlocking your files if you don’t pay the ransom. Ransomware attacks have increased in recent years, and this is making everyone sit up and pay attention.
These are the names for ransomware that has been affecting our world.
Locky (first released in 2016).
Ransomware attacks have been reported in the United States and around the globe. Below are some of the most recent attacks:
22 Texas organizations were affected by the ransomware attack on August 17, 2019. They demanded a ransom amount of $2.5 million (US). The ransomware, called the REvil and Sodinokibi ransomware, was spread through third-party software. However, the officials involved did not pay any ransom and were able to recover the files using a well-thought out cyber response plan.
On September 11th, 2018, ransomware was again used to attack Wolcott public schools in Connecticut. In June 2019, hackers had already attacked Wolcott’s public schools with a similar ransomware attack. Teachers and students couldn’t access their systems, and email and Internet access were also unavailable.
Although the attackers initially demanded $12,000 to enable access, the ransom was not paid and many systems were still down until the second ransomware attacks. Wolcott Public Schools went offline again following a possible second ransomware assault.
Three Florida towns were attacked by ransomware in June 2019. All three towns in Florida were hit with ransomware attacks in June 2019. Riviera beach paid $600,000.00 in Bitcoin to the attackers in order to get their assets back. Lake City paid $460,000 in ransom to get their data back in Florida’s second attack. The Ryuk ransomware was used to attack Lake City.
Another ransomware attack targeted the Baltimore City government in May 2019. The attackers demanded $76,000 in Bitcoins. This attack hampered ATMs, hospitals, and vaccines (2017-2019 Ransomware statistics).
Although ransomware attacks have not been as severe on consumers, there has been an increase of ransomware attacks on government agencies and businesses in 2019. Ransomware attacks have hit schools, dental offices, and educational institutions in the United States this year. This is partly because hackers know they can demand a higher ransom, and they are sure to get it!
What will the future look like? Are there going to be more attacks? It is likely that ransomware attacks will increase in frequency and severity around the world. This will have a significant impact on our lives and future plans. All verticals, including healthcare, education institutions, and government organizations, could be affected.
Ransomware attacks could also affect voter databases in the US, which could disrupt the 2020 Presidential election. The US government plans to launch a program to safeguard voter registration databases (US officials fear ransomware attack on 2020 election).
Stay safe with these simple steps
Is your company next? It is best to avoid clicking on suspicious links and to regularly back up all data. It is important to immediately contact law enforcement if you are the victim of ransomware attacks.
What is “Ransomware” and how does it work?
Ransomware statistics and facts for 2017-2019 (n.d.).