Ransomware attacks are no way near slowing down and the ransom demands keep rising. According to a recent threat report, attacks targeting organizations across North America and Europe are demanding more ransom than ever before. The average ransom demands have risen from $115,123 in 2019 to $312,493 in 2020.
Ransom demands on a new height
Cybersecurity researchers working at the Palo Alto Networks analyzed recent ransomware attacks and revealed that ransom demands now represent a 171% year-over-year increase.
- Before 2020, the highest ransom demand paid to ransomware operators was around $5 million. However, it has doubled in the last year as one victim paid $10 million to ransomware operators.
- The highest attempted ransom demand during 2020 was around $30 million, which is a twofold increase as compared to the previous highest attempted demand of $15 million.
- The emergence of new variants of successful ransomware and easy-to-use ransomware-as-a-service offers are also fueling the breakneck growth of ransom demands.
- Some of the most active ransomware gangs at present are Ryuk, Egregor, and DoppelPaymer.
Recent high demand ransom attacks
According to the average ransom across all of the quarterly reports from Coveware, hackers demanded $15.6 million in ransoms and received at least $2,112,744 in payment. Here are some notable incidents:
- Ransomware operators demanded $1.75 million from Allergy Partners in a ransomware attack.
- Last month, the attackers behind the Kia ransomware attack demanded a $20 million ransom in Bitcoin.
The trend of high ransom demand is expected to continue in 2021 and more organizations can be expected to fall prey to these attacks. While financially motivated cyberattacks are growing, ransomware appears to be one of the most rewarding ones at present. Thus, it is recommended to always have a backup of important data.