Ransomware Spikes 130% in January – Digital Transactions | #hacking | #cybersecurity | #infosec | #comptia | #pentest | #ransomware

Already, 2024 is starting off with an unrelenting wave of ransomware attacks. The number of attacks last month, as registered by cybersecurity firm BlackFog, increased 130% from January 2023.

Cheyenne, Wyo.-based BlackFog says the 76 attacks noted this January are the second-highest it has ever recorded. The highest number came only in November, when nearly 90 attacks happened. The insidious nature of ransomware can mean companies pay to get their data decrypted by the criminals who scrambled it, and often have expensive followup actions to complete.

BlackFog’s data shows that the education sector, at 14, saw the most attacks followed by healthcare at eight and manufacturing at seven. Finance endured five attacks in January. The data also show that, in the past few months, ransomware attackers made a decided shift to small and mid-size organizations.

Most attacks still seek to extract data, with 91% of all ransomware having that goal, it says. The average ransom payout is $568,705, down 33% from the third quarter of 2023.

“We are now seeing extortion continue for years after the initial attack, even if the victim paid the initial ransom,” Darren Williams, BlackFog chief executive and founder, says in a statement. “There are so many ways to leverage data once it has been exfiltrated. Lastly, we see that China and Russia continue to dominate as the leading destinations for exfiltrated data, with 18% and 8% respectively.”

Organizations in the United States account for 57% of ransomware attacks, followed by the United Kingdom at 8%, and Singapore at 4%.


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