Ransomware Attacks Disrupt Key Infrastructure
Posted by Richard on October 11, 2021
Ransomware continues to be a plague on private and governmental operations, even threatening health care.
According to HIPAA Journal, ransomware attacks cost the American healthcare system roughly $21 billion in 2020, with attacks on at least 91 organizations. Attackers hit just 50 organizations in 2019.
Attackers have also hit energy companies, local governments and various other organizations in recent months. In May, the largest pipeline system in the United States, the Colonial Pipeline, was knocked offline by ransomware. The attack caused fuel shortages across the southern states.
Global consulting giant Accenture was recently hit by hackers as well. The hacker group LockBit allegedly stole databases containing six terabytes of data and threatened to release the data if the company didn’t pay a $50 million ransom. According to Cybernews, Accenture declined to pay and managed to restore their system.
According to cybersecurity firm Sophos, the per-incident cost for ransomware attacks surged from $761,106 in 2020 to $1.85 million in 2021.
Criminal groups sometimes pay for ransomware-as-a-service, using ready-built ransomware programs and agreeing to give ransomware developers a cut of any loot. This may have led to the recent proliferation of ransomware attacks.
According to cybersecurity firm Sonic Wall, at least 304.7 million ransomware attacks were attempted within first six months of 2021, already surpassing the 304.6 million attacks attempted during all of 2020.
The federal government is working alongside the private sector to develop more robust security solutions and better protocols. Still, experts warn that some governments and other organizations remain vulnerable to attack.