Top 3 Costly Ransomware Attacks in the First Half of 2020

CryptoMode Costly Ransomware Attacks

Ransomware attacks remain a very big problem in the security industry. Organizations of all types can be targeted by criminals looking to pocket some quick money. The following attacks were the most costly incidents of 2020 so far, but that may not remain the case for much longer. 

ISS World

While this ransomware incident may have gone by largely unnoticed, it has been a very costly endeavor. The Danish facilities management firm was forced to turn off its networks for several weeks. 

An attack, dating back to February 17, successfully compromised the network and IT systems. It took until March 20 to gain back control over most IT systems. Full restoration may take until late 2020, which is a very big problem. 

Addressing this ransomware attack is only part of the total costs. Up to $75 million will be spent by ISS World on beefing up its IT systems and pay for the restoration of systems in their current form. Some of the IT infrastructure has been crippled so badly, the company expects write-offs of up to $45 million. Total cost: at least $75 million, but as much as $112 million. 


The Maze ransomware took its toll on Cognizant systems in mid April 2020. Several of the company’s servers were encrypted completely, affecting some of its remote working operations to boot. A full recovery was made within just three weeks, which is rather impressive. Virtually all services affected – the internal network, not customer systems – are up and running as normal once again. 

Tallying up the total damage, Cognizant faces a very steep bill. Not only is there damage done to internal systems and the costs to remedy things. Revenue of the company was also impacted severely. Costs may be as high as $70 million, albeit $50 million is a more plausible figure. 

Redcar and Cleveland Council

Another security incident going by largely unnoticed occurred in early February of 2020. Redcar and Cleveland council in England noted how their computers, tablets, and mobile devices were showing very odd behavior. An investigation quickly confirmed that a major ransomware attack had taken place. Solving the problem wasn’t easy, as the website and server needed to be revamped completely.

Solving these problems will take a little while longer. Ransomware can be incredibly destructive, especially for non-corporate IT systems. Total costs are expected to be as high as $22.6 million. That is nearly three times as high as the yearly funding the council receives from the government.

This incident serves as a clear warning to any organization thinking they may be safe from such attacks. 

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