New research by Bitdefender identifies a significant rise in ransomware this year, in comparison to 2018.
In its Mid-Year Threat Landscape Report, researchers noted that since the fall of GrandCrab earlier this year, many spinoff ransomware families have filled the gap.
Sodinokibi is one notable player which has gained popularity by targeting critical infrastructures, large organisations and educational institutions, with a focus on the United States.
“The fall of GandCrab, which dominated the ransomware market with a share of over 50 percent, has left a power vacuum that various spinoffs are quickly filling. This fragmentation can only mean the ransomware market will become more powerful and more resilient against combined efforts by law enforcement and the cybersecurity industry to dismantle it,” wrote researchers.
Researchers also noted a significant spike in deployment of PUA (Potentially Unwanted Applications) – during the first half of 2019, targeting both WIndows and Mac users. PUA accounted for over 79% of the top global Windows threats report.
The top three threats facing business and consumers included coin-mining malware, commonly used in cryptojacking campaigns, exploits leveraging unpatched or previously known vulnerabilities and fireless attacks and banking trojans.
Importantly, researchers acknowledged the economic impact of disruptive cyber attacks stating that: “With an average hourly labor cost of 27.4 euros in 2018 in the EU and almost 90 million employees in the service industry in the 28 EU countries, an hour without Internet would cost the EU economy almost 2.5 billion euros, while the losses for an eight-hour working day would reach approximately 20 billion euros.”
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