Security & Fraud

Ransomware Attacks Targeted At Businesses On The Rise

Ransomware may have started with consumers, but attacks against businesses and large organizations are on the rise, according to Symantec’s Ransomware and Businesses 2016 report.

The security software company said that, while individuals accounted for 57 percent of the recorded ransomware attacks in 2015, attacks on companies and larger organizations increased at the end of the year. Because companies are willing to pay up, hackers saw that and upped the number of attacks at the end of the year. “A growing number of gangs are beginning to focus on targeted attacks against large organizations,” Symantec said in the report. “Although more complex and time-consuming to perform, a successful targeted attack on an organization can potentially infect thousands of computers, causing massive operational disruption and serious damage to revenues and reputation.”

According to the report, in the last year, ransomware has reached a new level in terms of maturity and the damage it can cause. The number of attacks is on the rise and so is the amount the bad guys are asking for. Emboldened by the willingness of people and companies to pay to get their data back, the average demand is around $680, according to Symantec.

The biggest threat to companies is random ransomware attacks, but targeted ones are expected to see an uptick as well. The attacks utilize a high level of technical expertise, relying on techniques seen more often in cyberespionage campaigns.

Ransomware has been growing in popularity among the bad guys and has been getting increasingly mean in recent days. A new variant on the ransomware virus called Ranscam locks up your computer, holds all of your computer files hostage, demands money and then doesn’t give you your files back, even when you pay up.

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