Ransomware attacks continued throughout Q4

By Dylan Bushell-Embling
Friday, 05 February, 2021

Ransomware attacks continued throughout Q4

Ransomware groups continued to wreak havoc in the final months of 2020, with more groups evolving to the tactic of publishing stolen data on data leak sites, according to Digital Shadows.

The digital risk protection software company said in a blog post that Pay2Key, RansomEXX, and Everest all created ransomware data leak sites during the fourth quarter.

This trend, which took off in 2020, showed no signs of slowing down throughout the year, the company said.

Digital Shadows’ research found that three ransomware families — Maze, Conti, Sodinokibi and NetWalker — accounted for 76% of alerts related to ransomware dump sites tracked by its software.

Meanwhile, attackers continued to target and successfully breach high-profile organisations, including bookseller Barnes & Noble and video game giants Ubisoft and Capcom.

During the quarter, high-profile ransomware group Maze announced it was ceasing operations. But the company was swiftly replaced by newcomers including Egregor, which was responsible for the highest number of alerts for the quarter.

The research found that the industrial goods and services sector was the most highly targeted sector with ransomware in Q4 at 29% of alerts, followed by construction (9%), food and beverage (5%), and legal services (5%).

Digital Shadows warned to expect the threat of ransomware attacks is likely to continue through 2021, and for even more ransomware groups to take up the ‘pay or get breached’ trend.

Image credit: ©stock.adobe.com/au/ArtemSam

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