Skip to main content

Ransomware most popular form of malware

(Image credit: Image source: Shutterstock/Carlos Amarillo)

Ransomware has been revealed as going up in popularity, according to the latest research from Verizon.

The company's latest 2018 Verizon Data Breach Investigation Report has identified ransomware as the most popular malware type, having investigated more than 50,000 incidents, more than 2,200 data breaches and 67 contributors, all over the world.

Attackers are getting a bit more sophisticated, too. They're not just throwing a net, encrypting whatever machines they can grab – they are specifically targeting business critical systems. And yes, they are asking for more money with each passing day.

"Ransomware has been on the upswing the last few years and continues to become more ubiquitous," said Dave Hylender, senior risk analyst at Verizon Business.

The report claims that ransomware's popularity lies in the fact that it's very easy to build and distribute. The risk is minimal, and there's no need to monetise stolen data.

Ransomware is a type of malware which encrypts data on an infected machine and then asks the owner to pay ransom to get the decryption key. Cyber-security tools are finding it hard to tackle this issue because encryption alone isn't a malicious activity.

Image source: Shutterstock/Carlos Amarillo

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.