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Cyber Attacks for Ransom: Exponentially Growing Problem (Post 2 of 3)

This post (post 2 of 3) considers what is driving this drastic spike in ransomware attacks and the hacker ecosystem.

*Please see post 1 of 3 for more context.

Here are a few insightful hi-lights from an article titled, “For cyber terrorists, business has been booming during Covid pandemic,” published on August 15th of this year in The Print:

  • 20 percent increase – 121.4 million assaults globally – first half of this year
  • Employees are coming back to work with infected computers
  • Manufacturing companies are more susceptible “…they aren’t able to go offline even for just a few days.”
  • Cyber attack groups vary – some hit 4-5 companies a day for a quarter-million dollar payout and move on – others go for the $10 million dollar score
  • Hackers ecosystem – some groups facilitate attacks – other hackers are for hire – and other hacker groups only dispose of Bitcoin
  • Every single infected computer has its own decryption key
  • Need to often go back to hacker for help to get decryption to work
  • Hackers deal with so many victims they sometimes get confused and give the wrong decryption keys to the wrong victims
  • Some hackers are completely inept, so, ironically, if you’re attacked, you want to be attacked by a technically proficient hacker
  • There’s been a move away from hackers using Bitcoin.
  • Law enforcement is becoming more proficient at tracing Bitcoin payments

The next and final post will review in more detail the pattern of these attacks, and what victims and security professionals are suggesting as ways to respond.

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Ron Alvarez is an IP investigations and protection consultant and writer in New York City. He is a former NYPD lieutenant where he investigated robbery, narcotics, internal affairs, and fine art theft cases. Ron has since coordinated the private investigation of international fraud and money laundering cases, as well as IP-related investigations and research involving the four pillars of IP: copyright, patents, trademarks, and trade secrets. Ron is a graduate of the FBI National Academy and earned a B.A. in Government and Public Administration from John Jay College of Criminal Justice in Manhattan. He has written a number of articles for various investigative publications, as well as published "The World of Intellectual Property (IP) Protection and Investigations" in November 2021.

1 comment on “Cyber Attacks for Ransom: Exponentially Growing Problem (Post 2 of 3)

  1. Pingback: Cyber Attacks for Ransom: Exponentially Growing Problem (Post 3 of 3) – IP PI BLOG

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