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Ransomware attacks continue to target businesses

(Image credit: Image Credit: Christiaan Colen / Flickr)

When it comes to ransomware attacks (opens in new tab), hackers are losing interest in individuals and are turning more towards corporate targets, new research has claimed.

A report from Malwarebytes published this week claims that ransomware will change as we get closer to 2020. The Cybercrime techniques and tactics (CTNT): Ransomware retrospective report says that in the second quarter of the year, consumer ransomware detections (opens in new tab) dipped below business detections.

As we move closer to the end of the year, the report’s authors expect ransomware to evolve, to get more “worm-like” functionality and to pair more with other malware families.

“This year we have noticed ransomware making more headlines than ever before as a resurgence in ransomware turned its sights to large, ill-prepared public and private organizations with easy to exploit vulnerabilities such as cities, non-profits and educational institutions,” said Adam Kujawa, Director of Malwarebytes Labs.

“Our critical infrastructure needs to adapt and arm themselves against these threats as they continue to be targets of cybercriminals, causing great distress to all the people who depend on public services and trust these entities to protect their personal information.”

Overall, ransomware detections against businesses rose in the second quarter of the year by 363 per cent, compared to the same period last year. There was a 235 per cent increase in threats aimed at organisations, regardless of the size. Ransomware is seen as a “major contributor” to those.

Municipalities, educational institutions, and healthcare organizations are now most frequent targets. The report argues that legacy infrastructure may be the reason, as well as outdated hardware and software.

Top ransomware families (opens in new tab) overall include: GandCrab, Ryuk, Troldesh, Rapid and Locky.

Sead Fadilpašić is a freelance tech writer and journalist with more than 17 years experience writing technology-focussed news, blogs, whitepapers, reviews, and ebooks. And his work has featured in online media outlets from all over the world, including Al Jazeera Balkans (where he was a Multimedia Journalist), Crypto News, TechRadar Pro, and IT Pro Portal, where he has written news and features for over five years. Sead's experience also includes writing for inbound marketing, where he creates technology-based content for clients from London to Singapore. Sead is a HubSpot-certified content creator.