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Ransomware Attacks Grow, Crippling Cities, Businesses

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A ransomware warning.

In 2019, 205,280 organizations submitted files that had been hacked in a ransomware attack, a 41% increase from the year before, according to information provided by Emsisoft, a security firm that helps companies hit by ransomware.


In recent years, ransomware attacks have crippled computer networks and extorted money to restore access to users.

Attacks have escalated to target cities, banks, hospitals, factories, businesses, and governments.

The Emsisoft security firm estimates that last year 205,850 organizations submitted files compromised by ransomware—a 41% increase from 2018.

Security experts say the actual cost of attacks is much higher than the amounts victims have paid to release ransomed networks.

U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation cybersection chief Herbert Stapleton said the most worrying aspect of ransomware is not just its direct costs, but also its indirect costs from lost operations.

Ransomware has become an industry with many gangs competing for targets, and perpetrators use anonymous messaging platforms, cryptocurrency, and other technologies to thwart identification.

From The New York Times
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