Ransomware attacks target workers in London’s Square Mile

Businesses in the area - including top banks and law firms - suffered 670 per cent more ransomware attacks than the next nearest area.

Workers in London's Square Mile - home to a significant number of financial services, law firms and other major businesses - are being targeted by a substantial amount of ransomware attacks, according to new data from Malwarebytes.

Threat intelligence data compiled by Malwarebytes' Data Science & Engineering team found that businesses in the area suffered 670 per cent more ransomware attacks than Manchester, the next nearest area.

With 10,500 hits, the City of London suffered more ransomware attacks than the next ten highest areas of the UK combined, including Manchester, Birmingham, York, Peterborough, Surrey, Essex Lancashire, Kent and the London borough of Greenwich. In fact, the Square Mile was hit more times than many countries, including Sweden, Malaysia and Hungary.

Nima Samadi, Data Science Analyst at Malwarebytes, said, “When analysing the data it gave us an interesting snapshot into a growing problem facing companies. These nefarious threats, which essentially demand money with menaces, are becoming a real problem for big business – encrypting company files for ever unless the ransom is paid. It is a modern day protection racket.

“Given that only 7000 people live in the City of London, but hundreds of thousands commute there every day, it is not a great leap to assume these attacks involved compromised work systems. With over 80m square ft. of office space in just 1.1 miles – that is a hugely tempting target for the bad guys.”

The most prevalent types of ransomware were also recorded. File Cryptor was identified as the most common, followed by File Locker, Trojan Ransom, TeslaCrypt and Cryptowall.

The news comes after recent reports that NHS Trusts are having to deal with an increasing number of ransomware attacks, as well as research suggesting that cybecrime and online fraud are costing the UK £10 billion a year.

Image source: Shutterstock/Carlos Amarillo