Highlights

  • Maze Ransomware in 2020 attacked work from home servers
  • Ryuk Ransomware used to be the costliest to remediate

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Most dangerous ransomware attacks in the last 5 years

In 2017, WannaCry ransomware infected over two lakh computers worldwide.

 

Cyberattacks are the biggest threat to the global digital economy and the pace of ransomware attacks is getting faster and the scope is getting bigger. Ransomware attacks have risen by a steep 13 percent in the last five years and by 25 percent in the last year alone, as per Verizon's 15th annual Data Breach Investigations Report.

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The latest one is on an Indian airline Spicejet. Editorji lists some of the biggest ransomware attacks in the last five years:

1. WannaCry: In May 2017, a ransomware called WannaCry infected computers across the globe in an incident termed 'a global epidemic'. This ransomware attack spread through computers operating Microsoft Windows and demanded payment in bitcoin. More than 2 lakh computers around the world were infected. Computer systems in 150 countries were affected by the attack, with a total estimated loss of around $4 billion globally. The attackers initially demanded $300 in bitcoin to unlock infected computer systems. The demand was later increased to $600 in bitcoin. However, some researchers claim that no one got their data back, even if they met the demands.

2. SamSam: It made headlines in 2018 when it infected the city of Atlanta, the Colorado Department of Transportation, and the Port of San Diego, causing major disruptions of service. That same ransomware was utilized by different bad actors again that same year against hospitals, municipalities, and public institutions, causing an estimated loss of $30 million.

Also read/watch | SpiceJet faces ransomware attack, departure of morning flights affected

3. Ryuk: Both 2019 and 2020 were dominated by Ryuk ransomware spread mainly via phishing emails, containing dangerous links and attachments. Prior to recent attacks, Ryuk was the costliest to remediate, with ransom amounts exceeding $300,000 in some cases. Authorities state that Ryuk’s attacks have already caused more than $60 million in damage worldwide.

4. REvil Ransomware: This was one of the most well-known cases of 2020, especially because of the big names involved. Grubman Shire Meiselas & Sacks, a law firm that handles international celebrities such as Madonna, Bruce Springsteen, Lady Gaga, Nicki Minaj, and more, was hacked in mid-May by REvil Ransomware, also popularly known as Sodinokibi. Media reports said that about 756 GB of private documents and correspondence with clients were stolen. The hacker group had taken control over the personal information of its high-profile clients and demanded a $21 million ransom.

5. Maze Ransomware: The biggest Ransomware attack of 2020 was led by technology giant Cognizant. It cost the company a staggering $50 to $70 million in revenue loss, and recovery and mitigation efforts. This barred its work from home capabilities and encrypted its servers.

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The World Economic Forum points out that global leaders identified cyber risk as a major digital challenge, with 64 percent of the respondents expecting they will experience a disruptive event within the next year. Nearly one in five (19.5 percent) respondents believe cybersecurity failures will be a critical threat to the world in just the next two years, and 14.6 percent project a critical threat within two to five years.

According to Dell Technologies 2021 Global Data Protection Index survey, 44 percent of businesses experienced more cyberattacks and data loss during this past year or so, and more than 67 percent lacked confidence that all business-critical data can be recovered in the event of a cyberattack. 82 percent of customers do not believe their current data protection product is sufficient to handle future business challenges.

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