Following the 2020 email hacking riot, 2021 did not let us off easy. More and more emails are being targeted even this year, just that the traditional forms of phishing are replaced by ransomware attacks. Statistics show that India continues to face the heat of email infiltration, and has recorded 213 weekly ransomware attacks since the beginning of the year!
Not only is this number high, but in fact it is highest. According to a security research, India maxed out at the number of weekly ransomware attacks at 213, followed by Argentina (104), Chile (103), France (61), and Taiwan (50).
Show me the numbers: The global surge in weekly ransomware attacks has hit a rise of a 102% as compared to 2020.
What’s interesting about these attacks is, though India shows drastically high numbers, they are affecting other nations too. Even more curious is the different industries that have been hit.
In United States, the healthcare industry got hit the worst. As the US bustled to administer more and more Covid-19 vaccines to its citizen, it is possible that this area was chosen on purpose by the hackers because it would get them the most bucks and also cause a major disruption and chaos, which is one of the secondary objectives of many hacking campaigns.
On another part of the globe, in Europe, the utilitarian sectors got hit whereas Africa faced weekly ransomware attacks within their financial sector. The Asia Pacific region felt the most brunt in the insurance / legal niches. Latin American countries suffered ransomware attacks in their communications sector.
But the most unique ransomware attack, involving not just a double extortion (file encryption and data theft, which can never be reconciled even if the ransom is paid), but a triple extortion, which introduces DDoS in the ransomware attack. This happened in Finland, at Vaastamo clinic, a psychiatric institution. After the leakage of data, the hackers crashed the servers with repeated denial of service attacks. Moreover, they did not return the sensitive stolen data in demand for money, but leaked it online to the public at large. Therapeutic notes, confidential patient data, administrative data stored by Vaastamo’s clouds… all were compromised, making it a very serious attack indeed.
How can the numbers go down?
We’re tired of hearing this in the context of the pandemic, but the same principle applies here. The number of weekly ransomware attacks will only go down when due diligence and awareness is exercised.
The first major vector for launching ransomware attacks is email, which must be fiercely protected.
And then, you can also increase your cyber awareness so you can spot such attacks from miles away.
On our blog, we have two in-depth articles that might help you get insights into online security:
Only with better preventive mechanisms, and with proper knowledge, can we collectively bring down the number of weekly ransomware attacks. If the trends are to be believed, things will only get more worse, as lockdowns and WFH trends continue. Know better, protect better.