Over 60% of global ransomware attacks are directed at the US and UK

William S. | November 10, 2021

Criminals use ransomware as a weapon to damage businesses or countries' cybersecurity and obtain critical information. Since the United States is one of the most powerful countries, it is a perfect target to launch cyberattacks.

According to the recent Atlas VPN team findings, over 60% of global ransomware attacks are directed at the US and UK. In addition, most of the attacks target government administrations intending to steal sensitive information belonging to the state. Overall, we reported a ransomware attack increase of more than 150% in 2021.

The data is based on The State of Ransomware in 2021 report released by Black Fog. It covers ransomware attacks from the start of the year up until the end of October.

As of October 2021, 52% of all ransomware attacks globally are targeting the US. Hackers launched the most significant cyberattacks this year, precisely at US businesses. Colonial Pipeline, JBS Foods, Kaseya are just a few of the largest examples. Ransomware attacks cost companies millions of dollars and supply shortages for weeks to come.

Nearly 11% of ransomware attacks hackers directed at UK enterprises. One massive hack happened last month in October to a British jeweler Graff. Conti criminal gang leaked 69,000 confidential documents relating to celebrities like Donald Trump, Oprah Winfrey, David Beckham, and more. The group demanded a ransom to stop the further release of information.

Canadian businesses suffered from 4.51% of all ransomware attacks worldwide. Back in February, the DarkSide ransomware gang hit one of Canada’s biggest rental agencies Discount Car and Truck Rental. Cybercriminals posted a notice on its leak site informing them they had stolen 120GB of corporate, banking, and franchise data from the firm.

France and Japan, on the other hand, were targeted by about 3% of ransomware attacks. Brazilian, Indian, and Australian businesses each shared 2% of ransomware attacks globally. Almost 21% of ransomware attacks were directed at the rest of the world. Our other research showed that 50% of companies attacked by ransomware are based in the US.

Government under ransomware pressure

A ransomware attack could be an organization’s worst nightmare. Hackers specifically choose industries and companies where the loss of data could be detrimental to its successful operations.

Government administrations suffered the most ransomware attacks in 2021 so far — 47. Outdated technology and the lack of cybersecurity staff make governments vulnerable to attacks. Cybercriminals know that governments hold sensitive information, which is essential for public service.

The education industry experienced 35 ransomware attacks globally this year. Interconnected networks in educational institutions usually can help spread the ransomware faster, creating more damage. While students engage in many online activities, it is easier to use them as ransomware entry into the network.

Cybercriminals launched 33 ransomware attacks at healthcare facilities. Hospitals are lucrative targets for hackers as they hold sensitive patient data such as social security numbers and other personal information. While hackers take control of hospital systems, they also are putting many people’s lives in danger.

The services industry suffered from 28 ransomware attacks this year. Typically, businesses in the service field hold a lot of personal information about their clients. As a result, service companies become attractive targets for hackers, who will profit either by receiving the ransom or by selling the stolen data.

Ransomware continues to be one of the most dangerous cyber threats to businesses and governments. While companies and authorities are trying to catch up to cyber defense technologies, cybercriminal attacks are getting more sophisticated and disruptive.

William S.

William S.

Cybersecurity Researcher and Publisher at Atlas VPN. Focused on revealing the latest cybersecurity trends around the world.



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