Crypto-ransomware attacks grow 5.5 times in last 12 months

Other types of ransomware increased by 17.7 per cent year-on-year

Kaspersky has revealed that crypto-ransomware attacks have grown 5.5 times over the last year, while other types of ransomware hacks have increased by 17.7 per cent.

Crypto-ransomware is used to scramble the data on a victim's system and then the criminal demands payment to decrypt that information. Kaspersky believes these types of attack have reached such high levels, they could soon be considered an epidemic in the world of cyber-crime.

These types of hacks are most prevalent in Germany, Italy and the US, although this does not mean UK businesses are safe from being targeted.

"The biggest problem with crypto-ransomware today is that sometimes the only way to get the encrypted data back is to pay the criminals, and victims tend to pay," Fedor Sinitsyn, senior malware analyst at Kaspersky Lab, said.

Advertisement - Article continues below
Advertisement - Article continues below

"That brings a lot of money into the underground ecosystem that has grown up around this malware, and as a result we are seeing new cryptors appear almost daily."

However, other types of ransomware attacks have reduced in number compared to 2014-2015. For example, blocker attacks, which lock the screen of a device before demanding payment are down 13 per cent.

"Companies and regular users can protect themselves by implementing regular backups, using a proven security solution and keeping themselves informed about current cybersecurity risks," Sinitsyn added.

"The ransomware business model seems to be profitable and safe for criminals, and the security industry and users can change that just by implementing these basic measures."

Kaspersky advised businesses to avoid becoming the target of an attack by backing up systems so encrypted files can still be accessed in the event of a system hack, installing a corporate-grade security solution (plus ensuring they are regularly patched, alongside all other software running on systems) and avoid paying the ransom when one is demanded. Instead, the attack should be reported to the police.

Staff should also be trained to identify such attacks and encouraged not to respond to suspicious requests.

Featured Resources

What you need to know about migrating to SAP S/4HANA

Factors to assess how and when to begin migration

Download now

Your enterprise cloud solutions guide

Infrastructure designed to meet your company's IT needs for next-generation cloud applications

Download now

Testing for compliance just became easier

How you can use technology to ensure compliance in your organisation

Download now

Best practices for implementing security awareness training

How to develop a security awareness programme that will actually change behaviour

Download now



How can you protect your business from crypto-ransomware?

4 Nov 2019

Hackers abuse LinkedIn DMs to plant malware

25 Feb 2019

Best free malware removal tools 2019

23 Dec 2019

Best antivirus for Windows 10

3 Sep 2019

Most Popular

data governance

Brexit security talks under threat after UK accused of illegally copying Schengen data

10 Jan 2020
cyber security

If not passwords then what?

8 Jan 2020
Policy & legislation

GDPR and Brexit: How will one affect the other?

9 Jan 2020
web browser

What is HTTP error 503 and how do you fix it?

7 Jan 2020