SonicWall Threat Report Indicates Substantial Growth in Ransomware Attacks

SonicWall publicized a Cyber Threat Report update last July, which affirmed a significant rise in cyberattacks beginning 2020. From January to June of 2021, cryptojacking attacks went up by 23%, encrypted threats went up by 26%, IoT attacks increased by 59%, and ransomware attackers went up by 151% in comparison to the identical time period last year.

Ransomware attacks were progressively rising starting Q1 of 2020, nevertheless, the rate of growth jumped significantly from Q1 to Q2 of 2021, increasing by 63.1% with a total of 188.9 million attempted attacks in Q2. In June, there happened 78.4 million attempted incidents of ransomware attacks that are higher than the entire number of attacks in the Q2 of 2020 and more or less one-half of the number of attempted ransomware attacks in 2019. The total number of attempted ransomware attacks in the first 6 months of 2021 was 304.7 million.

2021 is the most awful year for ransomware recorded by SonicWall, stated in the report.

Around 73% of ransomware attacks are mainly executed in the United States. However, ransomware attacks are escalating around the globe. In the first half of 2021, there is a 180% increase in attacks in North America and a 234% rise in ransomware in Europe. The United States observed a 185% rise while the UK saw a 144% growth in attacks.

In the U.S., a number of states were greatly attacked. The worst impacted was Florida, with 111 million ransomware attacks, which is greater than the next nine most targeted states joined together. New York recorded 26 million attempted attacks; Idaho had 20 million, and Louisiana got 8.8 million.

The most attacked field is government. 2021 had a three times increase in attacks, which is the maximum point in 2020. In June, government customers were targeted approximately ten times the average level. The education segment was also widely targeted, still, attacks on healthcare clients have stayed somewhat steady during the first six months of the year.

The major ransomware threat in 2021 was the Ryuk ransomware, as 93.9 million cases of Ryuk were documented in the first 6 months of the year, which is triple the level in the same time in 2020. Cerber ransomware was likewise a serious threat, as 52.5 million incidents were recorded in the first 6 months of 2021. The number of Cerber cases rose greatly in April and May. 2/3 of the 2020 total count of SamSam ransomware attempts were documented in June only, having 15.7 million attack attempts.

SonicWall states there are a few things that have pushed the growth in attacks. One primary reason is the high profitability of cyberattacks. Numerous companies have paid ransoms to bring back data or to stop the exposure of sensitive data stolen during the attacks.

SonicWall states cyber threat actors are likewise becoming much better at getting and encrypting backup copies, making restoration hard or very unlikely when no payment of ransom is made. There was additionally a growth in the theft of data before deploying ransomware. Victims often pay the ransom to retrieve information even though good backups are available to get files.

It is growing to be usual for threat actors to do recurring attacks on businesses that have paid for the ransom because there is a likelihood that another ransom will additionally be given. Businesses that give a ransom may likewise be attacked by other attackers that have learned that one payment was given.

There was a number of good news reported, for instance, the substantial decrease of malware attacks year over year. SonicWall Capture Labs noted 2.5 billion malware attempts in the first half of 2021, which means a 22% slide from an identical time frame in 2020. There was furthermore a decrease in the number of malicious PDF and Office documents being sent out in spam and phishing email messages. The usage of malicious Office data files decreased by 54% in 2021; malicious PDF files fell by 13%.

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Mark Wilson

Mark Wilson is a news reporter specializing in information technology cyber security. Mark has contributed to leading publications and spoken at international forums with a focus on cybersecurity threats and the importance of data privacy. Mark is a computer science graduate.