Guest Post: Government Most Hit By Ransomware Attacks In 2020 Followed By Banking Says Atlas VPN

Ransomware is malicious software that restricts access to a victim’s files or devices until the ransom is paid. Last year, this type of attack was one of the cybercriminals’ favorite methods for targeting organizations.

According to the data presented by the Atlas VPN team, the government sector was the most affected by ransomware attacks in 2020, followed by Banking. In total, 50% of last year’s ransomware attacks were directed at these industries among the top 10 most-targeted sectors.

Government organizations took the biggest share of ransomware attacks last year — 31,906, while the banking sector suffered 22,082 attacks. Other industries that made it to the top five include manufacturing (17,071), healthcare (15,701), and finance (4,917).

Ruth Cizynski, the cybersecurity researcher and writer at Atlas VPN, shares her thoughts on ransomware attack trends in 2020: 

“Financial organizations have always been popular targets among cybercriminals due to their wealth.  In the meantime, the government and healthcare sectors are known to be especially vulnerable to cyberattacks. As the latter industries also played a critical role in dealing with the global pandemic last year, they became an easy prey to hackers.”

WannaCry ransomware was favored by cybercriminals

Like most cyber threats out there, ransomware comes in many different types. However, some ransomware families were more popular last year than the others.

Out of all the ransomware types, WannaCry, also referred to as WCry, was most favored by cybercriminals. This cyber threat was responsible for 220,166 or nearly 87% of all last year’s top ransomware families’ attacks. 

Locky ransomware also continued to plague organizations last year. There were 15,816 Locky cases detected in 2020. 

Other ransomware families that were highly active last year include Cerber (5,448),  Ryuk (3,376), GandCrab (2,326), Sodinokibi (2,275), Crysis (1,744), Crypwall (1,019), Egregor(827), and DoppelPaymer (526). 

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