The number and severity of ransomware attacks targeting manufacturing, legal, health care, and other sectors in the United States and across the globe have surged in 2021 compared to all other years. Victims of ransomware paid cybercriminals paid more money in the first half of 2021 than in all of 2020 – a staggering $590 million, with Bitcoin being a prevalent currency for cyber extortion.

According to the analysis of suspicious activity report published by the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) of the US Treasury Department ransomware filings in the first 6 months of 2021 exceed the 2020 total as well.

“The total U.S. dollar value for ransomware-related transactions reported in SARs filed during the review period exceeds that of any previous year since 2011. In the first six months of 2021, FinCEN identified $590 million in ransomware-related SARs, a 42 percent increase compared to a total of $416 million for all of 2020

Ransomware Filings
Source: the Department of Treasury Report

9 10 If current trends continue, SARs filed in 2021 are projected to have a higher ransomware-related transaction value than SARs filed in the previous 10 years combined, which would represent a continuing trend of substantial increases in reported year-over-year ransomware activity.’

The most common ransomware variants circulating in the first half of 2021 were DarkSide and REvil/Sodinokibi.

With an increase in the remote workforce and BYOD environments, SMBs and larger corporations alike are now even more vulnerable to attacks. There has been an increase in attacks on healthcare organizations since they are more likely to pay ransom to get access to their critical medical data during the pandemic, according to the report.

Did you know that paying the demanded money does not guarantee that you’ll get your data back from hackers? Of those SMBs that experienced a ransomware attack and paid the ransom, 20% never got their business and personal data back.

 

 

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