In Q1 of 2019, the average cryptocurrency payout for ransomware attacks has risen by 90%, according to recent reports by startup Coveware.
In its quarterly report, Coveware, which helps to manage ransomware for small companies, explained that in the last three months, the average ransom cost spend has risen by 90% to an average of $12,762 from the last quarter’s amount of $6,733.
In a ransomware situation, hackers steal access to computer and company networks. They then force the company to pay a ransom before giving the company access to its systems. Some hackers always give back control while others fail even after receiving payments.
Reportedly, the most popular new attack is from the Ryuk ransomware, which targets big companies with extraordinarily little tolerance for downtime activity. Once the attackers come after a particular firm, it can take about a week for the ransomware attack to be over. Companies end up spending an average of $64,645 on the damage done.
It is believed that the amount of downtime for the company depends on how difficult decryption is, which is why Ryuk has been one of the main types used. In Covewave’s report, 98% of the attacks ask for Bitcoin Core (BTC) as the “payment of choice” for ransom. Other common ransomware inclue Gandcrab, Dharma, Bitpaymer, and Lencrypt.
Dharma continued to be the most prevalent ransomware in Q1 of 2019, but Ryuk has gained significant market share. The three most common types are Dharma, Ryuk, and GandCrab. Though not mentioned in the previous quarter, Ryuk is gaining up on these two ransomware.
Attacks on computer networks have been broken down into three main areas. These are finding vulnerabilities in the software, email phishing, and Remote Desktop Protocols (RDPs). While Dharma mainly uses RDP ports to expose a company, Ryuk uses email phishing, which is a testament to the desire of these attackers to go after more prominent companies.
Lastly, Coveware reports stated that the average company size of victims increased to 114 employees, up from 71 in the last quarter. Professional services, such as CPA and law firms, are often targets for ransomware.
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