Ransomware threats are more virulent this year, according to researchers. Thus, BlackBerry specialists talk about double extortion ransomware attacks.
But this is not all, they also talk about attackers asking ransom from healthcare patients. Moreover, the rising Bitcoin price works as an intensifier for these attacks.
More traction for ransomware threats
The ransomware attacks affect governmental institutions, businesses, the educational system and individuals as well.
So, according to BlackBerry, which revealed the trends in 2021, we should all be aware of the double-extortion strategy. This seems to be a growing tactic.
Usually, attackers demand a ransom in order to decrypt the data they blocked on the victim’s computer. But now, they also ask for a ransom, so that they do not publish this data. So, if the victim refuses to pay the ransom within a certain time, they threaten to publish it or sell it to possible competitors.
So, despite the fact the an organization might restore their data, they would still pay in order to prevent their data from exposure.
As a result, the average ransom payments rose last year. Still, despite the payment, hackers can still publish the data.
Healthcare systems are in the target
Ransomware threats target more often healthcare organizations, with the coronavirus pandemic. So, attackers demand a payment both from the organizations and from the patients.
It also happened last October, when hackers targeted a psychotherapy center. Then, they asked a ransom from the center, but contacted the patients and asked each 200 Euros, in Bitcoins. Eventually, it published all the records on a Tor website
Security researchers warn that such tactics become more popular this year.
This new kind of attacks allows states to bring ransomware threats using third-party contractors. So, the identity of real attackers remains unknown.
Moreover, as the price of crypto currencies goes up, it becomes more appealing for hackers to launch such attacks.
Although paying a ransom to the attackers should be avoided, sometimes this is the only way for the victims.
“Since the individual cases and circumstances vary dramatically, there is no golden rule,” Eric Milam, BlackBerry lead threat researcher said. Still, he mentioned that victims should always work closely with the authorities and help investigation