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Ransomware Attacks Drop 25% But That's Not The Whole Story

Published: December 24, 2023 on our newsletter Security Fraud News & Alerts Newsletter.

There’s news about ransomware getting mixed reactions from everyday users and businesses alike. Since both groups share concern over these devastating attacks, findings in April from the UK’s NCC Group are proving to be a real head-scratcher. On one hand, the numbers are good and on the other…not so good. So, what’s behind this mixed bag of ransomware statistics?

The Good News

In their monthly Cyber Threat Intelligence Report, NCC Group finds the number of ransomware attacks declined by 25% from March to April of this year. April saw a total of 352 incidents while March saw 459, and that’s the good news. According to NCC, the difference between the two months is due to “…the prolific exploitation of the GoAnywhere MFT vulnerability” in March. Fewer attacks in April may have been helped by bug fixes and patching in response to the GoAnywhere MFT attacks.

NCC shares their results about those most targeted by ransomware in April

  • The most attacked sectors were industrial at 32%, and consumer and technology tied at 11%.

  • Attacks by geolocation are North America 50%, Europe 24%, Asia 10%, 8% undisclosed regions

  • Threat groups responsible for 58% of attacks were Lockbit 3.0 with 107, BlackCat with 50, and BianLian with 46 attacks.

The Not-So-Good News

With the numbers for April in place, NCC concludes the first four months of this year show “…it is clear the ransomware numbers are much higher than in 2022…Although the results this month have declined, the number of victims is the second highest ever recorded in our database (beginning 2021).” That being said, better defense and improved security practices are needed by all concerned.

Ransomware Prevention Tips: Below are tips everyone can benefit from when put into practice.

Phishing Faux-Pas. Whether by email, text or phone, phishing is the way many cyberattacks start, including ransomware. Never open attachments or follow links unless you positively know, trust, and can verify the sender. Bad spelling, grammar, and graphics are phishing red flags along with messages promoting urgency or that tug at heartstrings and other emotions. Never provide your PII but instead, go to the website directly to find if your PII is needed. Always type in the URL yourself and never follow a link to the site.

Anti-Virus Protection. Consider using trusted anti-virus solutions for devices. Shop around first since different software offers different protections. Opening attachments and links from unknown sources could lead to malware infections of all kinds and anti-virus software can detect these malware carriers before they infect your device. Remember, one virus can take down an entire network.

Stay Up-To-Date. Keep all system software and apps updated and patched, no matter how minor they may seem. Updates and patches often include fixes to security bugs and keep your device safer overall and it’s easy to ignore them. Turn on auto-updates so they’re on the latest versions available.

And if you ever do find yourself a victim of ransomware, don’t pay the ransom. It just encourages more of this bad behavior.

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