Ransomware attacks surged 105% in the first three months of 2019 when compared against the same period in 2018, with attackers shifting their focus to larger organisations able to pay high ransom amounts, according to a report by Beazley.
While ransomware-as-a-service (RaaS) attacks remain commonplace and tend to hit unsuspecting small businesses, sophisticated attack groups associated with Ryuk and Bitpaymer ransomware variants are reportedly targeting larger organisations through phishing emails and tricking users into deploying banking Trojans.
In the first quarter of 2019, Beazley states that the average ransomware demand reported to its Beazley Breach Response Services team was 93% higher than the 2018 average.
And, according to incident response firm Coveware, the average price of ransoms in Q1 2019 increased by 89% when compared to Q4 2018.
Bill Siegel, Chief Executive Officer of Coveware, attributes the increased number of attacks to two main factors.
“First, anytime the average ransom demand goes up, it’s going to pull in more attack groups interested in making money,” Siegel said.
“Second, the easy availability of exploit kits (such as banking Trojans) and RaaS means there is a lower barrier to entry for would-be hackers.”