Between 2005 and 2016, ransomware infections were more common than data breaches, making them the most pervasive cyberthreat of the last 11 years. Ransomware attacks may encrypt folders and files or even the entire hard drive, or they may just lock the devices so that users cannot access them. In recent years, attacks have become increasing sophisticated; crypters can make reverse-engineering extremely difficult, and offline encryption methods can eliminate the need for command and control communications by taking advantage of legitimate features.
Growth of Ransomware Attacks
Ransomware attacks have become increasingly common during the past three years. A report from Kaspersky Lab revealed that its solutions found ransomware on more than 50,000 computers connected to corporate networks in 2015, which was twice the number detected the year before. In 2016, almost $210 million was paid to ransomware cybercriminals during the first quarter alone and the FBI estimated that without paying losses for the year would have exceeded $1 billion.
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