Ransomware attacks have been one of the critical moments of 2021 that signify how the cyber threat landscape has changed. While ransomware was a major threat in 2019, threat actors went public in 2020. Many now exfiltrate data from their victims before encrypting their files and announcing they’ve compromised them on public leak sites. The number of ransomware attacks nearly doubled in the first half of 2021 with some of these attacks being not only notorious in nature but shocking at the extent these threat actors went to and how they will continue.
British spy chief warned that Ransomware attacks in the UK have doubled in just a year as cybercriminal groups and teams make a lot of profit from them. Sir Jeremy Fleming, director of the GCHQ spy listening centre warned over this growing threat from cybercriminal groups and affiliates that are paralysing the networks of organisations and demanding ransom payments to unlock them.
Unfortunately, because of the profitability, ransomware attacks will continue to occur. The ransom payment is almost always requested in the untraceable currency of Bitcoin. Now that ransoms can be paid in an untraceable manner, the frequency of ransomware attacks has exploded,
Ransomware has gradually become a prevalent cybercrime. Cryptocurrency and ransomware have seemingly had a long history together. Many ransomware gangs usually tell their victims to contact them via an anonymous email address or follow instructions on an anonymous web page, to make payment, normally in a cryptocurrency such as Bitcoin.
The spy chief also emphasised the cyber threat presented by the rise of China and how the western world must take lead in the ‘technological race’ to guarantee Artificial Intelligence, machine learning and other landmark changes are based on western, liberal values. Cyber gangs responsible for most of the “devastating” ransomware attacks against the UK are based abroad, including in Russia and neighbouring countries according to the National Cyber Security Centre.
He also advised that straightforward cybersecurity procedures that protect at an organisational level will prove enough protection and lessen the chance of organisations being labelled as a target. At Orpheus Cyber we can help you understand your cyber risks at strategic, operational and tactical levels, including supply chain. To find out more, click here
To understand more about threat actors and their tactics, click here to read our Guide To Threat Actors