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Encrypted malware sees major rise

(Image credit: Image source: Shutterstock/Nicescene)

Ransomware, a type of encrypted malware that was allegedly losing steam for most of the year, now seems to be back, as the numbers are showing an increase in attacks of this type.

Cybersecurity firm Sonicwall says that so far this year, it has logged 2.4 million such attacks, representing a 76 per cent increase year-to-date, and according to the company’s chief executive Bill Conner, it’s only getting worse.

In 2018, it had seen a total of 2.8 million encrypted malware attacks, a 27 per cent increase year-on-year.

Sonicwall says that there are a number of reasons why ransomware is back, including ransomware-as-a-service (RaaS) and open-source malware kits for cryptos, which “bounced back up”.

“I’m certain that a number of high profile ransomware cases involving major US cities also signalled that there are still large vulnerable targets out there despite ransomware being a headline for the past 4-5 years,” Conner told The Register.

A recent Symantec report claimed a similar trail saying that the raw number of attacks was declining, but that the companies that were targeted – suffered multiple attacks.

This leads the cybersecurity company to believe that hackers are opting for a more targeted approach instead of casting a wide net. They know who has the money and who’s willing to cooperate and they target those companies specifically.