Ransomware attacks surge by over 150% in 2021
Businesses and people around the world suffer ransomware attacks every day. Exceptionally since the pandemic started, we hear more and more about hackers abusing vulnerabilities.
According to the data presented by the Atlas VPN team, ransomware attacks are up 151% in the first half of 2021, compared to the same time in 2020. The United States is the most ransomware-threatened country by a significant margin. However, it is still one of the most common financially-motivated attacks.
The cybercrime statistics are based on the 2021 Cyber Threat Report released by SonicWall. The numbers were sourced from real-world data gathered by the SonicWall Capture Threat Network, which collects information in 215 countries and territories.
In the first half of 2020, there were a total of 121.4 million ransomware attacks across the world. The most significant ransomware attack in H1 2020 was the Maze ransomware outbreak in the Cognizant company’s network. The attack cost about $50-$70 million to the business in revenue loss, recovery, and relief efforts.
The first half of 2021 has already reached 304.7 million ransomware attack attempts making it the worst ever recorded year. The number is concerning considering only half of the year has passed and we already know it is the worst result yet.
Ransomware has continued to soar because more businesses are willing to pay a ransom to get their data back. That lets hackers know that their methods are working, and launching attacks will allow them to earn a quick buck.
Ransomware destination: The United States
Ransomware attacks with the largest payouts mostly happened to US companies over the past couple of years. Nonetheless, many organizations in other countries can also become victims of hacker threats.
The United States is a prime target for most hackers, as the country has experienced 227.3 million ransomware attack attempts. In other words, there are about 865 threats every minute in the first half of 2021. Recently, ransomware gangs launched several unprecedented attacks in the US on a major pipeline, a meat supplier, and a software company.
The second most targeted country is the UK, as they encountered 14.6 million ransomware attack attempts. Many UK citizens and organizations became ransomware victims over the past couple of years. Government agencies often get targeted for political reasons, to try and steal some classified information.
Next up, Germany suffered from 11 million ransomware threats so far this year. Lack of ransomware awareness is a massive problem for German small and medium-sized enterprises (SME). SME’s do not consider themselves at risk most of the time and lack financial and human resources.
South Africa is fourth with 10.5 million ransomware attempts, and Brazil follows behind with 9.1 million attempted threats.
In 2021, ransomware earned $45 million, with Conti group getting $12.72 million from their victims.
Ransomware attacks are a severe problem that terrorizes many organizations or government agencies, causing national danger. As many people neglect basic cybersecurity rules, they become easy targets for cybercriminals. Improving people’s cybersecurity awareness and preparedness is a must if companies want to reduce ransomware attacks.