Security researchers grow concerned over the rising number of US ransomware attacks. How much of an influence the coronavirus pandemic has become, is difficult to determine. One thing is certain: the cybersecurity war is far from over.
Ransomware Attack Remain Prevalent
For years now, the entire world has been forced to deal with ransomware and malware attacks. Whether it is attacking single computers or entire corporate networks, a lot of damage has been done in the process. Contrary to what most people may have expected, these attacks will not slow down just yet.
A new report by SonicWall confirms one’s worst suspicions. The number of malware attacks against US targets has more than doubled compared to 2019. A net 109% increase has been confirmed so far. That is an incredibly worrisome trend, especially when considering how the number of malware strains being distributed has decreased.
Looking at the raw numbers, there were 3.2 billion malware cases globally in the first half of 2020. Compared to 4.8 billion in the same period for 2019, there is a major difference. Such a steep drop is rather unusual, even in this particular industry. One would expect this to lead to fewer malware attacks, but nothing could be further from the truth.
It is the only type of malware noting year-over-year growth. The difference is not too steep, but ransomware is becoming even more prevalent than before. If it starts becoming a stronger point of focus among cybercriminals, the entire world needs to take notice. Preparing for the worst is probably the only viable strategy in this regard.
Some Countries Perform Better
Comparing ransomware statistics by country paints an interesting picture. Attacks in the UK have decreased by 6% in the past twelve months. It is an encouraging start, but there is still more work to be done. Other countries have noted a near 50% decrease in ransomware attacks, albeit that may only be temporary.
All of the good work is being offset by the problems in the US, however. A 105% increase in ransomware attacks simply isn’t acceptable. Part of this new wave of attacks may be due to the coronavirus pandemic. America has been hit very hard by the virus, making its infrastructure a prime target for criminals looking to make a quick buck.
One thing that is positive is how no new exploits are being leveraged. All major attacks rely on existing exploits and malware. At the same time, this shows that most companies and organizations have not beefed up their security in the past 12 months. An unacceptable scenario that needs to change sooner rather than later.
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