Hotel guests locked out of their rooms at a four-star hotel in the Austrian Alps? Washington DC’s CCTV system disrupted days before Donald Trump’s inauguration? Libraries in St Louis brought to a standstill? Eight years of digital evidence lost by a Texas police department?
Ransomware is not just grabbing headlines, it’s now the favorite method of cyberattack used against businesses, particularly in North America and Europe, according to this Malwarebytes report.
In the fourth quarter of 2016 alone, Malawarebytes catalogued nearly 400 variants of ransomware, and 81 percent of ransomware detected in corporate environments occurred in North America.
“Evolving ransomware variants enable hackers to methodically investigate a company’s system, selectively lock the most critical files, and demand higher ransoms to get the most valuable files unencrypted.”
In its white paper Cyberrisk: Threat and Opportunity, the Insurance Information Institute reports that insurers are issuing an increasing number of cyber insurance policies and coverage for cyber extortion, including payment of a ransom following a ransomware attack, is available.
According to the FBI, ransomware attacks are on the up, particularly targeting organizations because the payoffs are higher.