Kaspersky confirmed that Targeted ransomware attacks grow 767% in one year, the company highlights the attacks carried out by Maze, RagnarLocker, and WastedLocker.
Ransomware has been a constant in the cybersecurity landscape for a few years now. In the past decade, the large-scale WannaCry and Cryptolocker attacks made headlines and wreaked havoc.
Since then the volume of those affected has fallen, but campaigns have become more specialized in an attempt to capitalize on them.
Targeted ransomware attacks are on the rise
A Kaspersky report reveals that, between 2019 and 2020, users who encountered ransomware decreased by 29%. On the other hand, those who suffered the action of targeted ransomware were many more, increasing the number of victims by 767%.
These targeted attacks, as the name suggests, aim at a pre-selected target and pressure them to pay the ransom demanded. They are usually high-profile targets with purchasing power and sensitive data, such as companies, government agencies, or healthcare organizations that receive sophisticated network compromise, reconnaissance, persistence, and lateral movement attacks.
“We’ll most likely see fewer and fewer widespread campaigns targeting everyday users,” says Fedor Sinitsyn, a security expert at Kaspersky. “Of course, that’s not to say users aren’t still vulnerable. However, the primary focus will likely continue to be on companies and large organizations, and that means ransomware attacks will continue to become more sophisticated and more destructive,” he adds.
The three most prominent targeted ransomware families over the past year have been Maze, RagnarLocker, and WastedLocker. Overall, the ransomware that continues to be used most frequently is WannaCry, which in 2020 affected 16% of users who encountered malware capable of hijacking computers.