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Ransomware attacks increased five times in the last year

We're facing an 'epidemic' in ransomware, Kaspersky Lab says, trying to help everyone understand the scale of the problem. Just in one year, between April 2015 and March 2016, the security reseachers logged 718,536 users being hit with this type of malware.

That represents a 5.5-times increase in the number of ransomware attacks, compared to the same period a year before.

The worst thing about this is, at least according to Kaspersky Lab, is that victims tend to pay the ransom, just drawing more cyber-criminals into the 'business'.

In other highlights reported by the security firm, the number of users hit by any type of ransomware in the year analysed jumped 17.7 per cent, to a total of 2,315,931.

Most attacks happen in Germany, Italy and the US, it was said in the report.

“The biggest problem with crypto-ransomware today is that sometimes the only way to get the encrypted data back is to pay the criminals, and victims tend to pay. That brings a lot of money into the underground ecosystem that has grown up around this malware, and as a result we are seeing new cryptors appear almost daily,” said Fedor Sinitsyn, Senior Malware Analyst at Kaspersky Lab.

“Companies and regular users can protect themselves by implementing regular backups, using a proven security solution and keeping themselves informed about current cybersecurity risks. The ransomware business model seems to be profitable and safe for criminals, and the security industry and users can change that just by implementing these basic measures.”

Photo credit: wsf-s / Shutterstock

Sead Fadilpašić

Sead is a freelance journalist with more than 15 years of experience in writing various types of content, from blogs, whitepapers, and reviews to ebooks, and many more, across sites including Al Jazeera Balkans, TechRadar Pro, IT Pro Portal, and CryptoNews.