Ransomware Attacks Double: FBI

Friday, May 27, 2016 @ 04:05 PM gHale


There was a record number of complaints from users infected with ransomware over the last year, according to the FBI.

There were 2,453 ransomware complaints in 2015, 1,000 more than 2014’s total of 1,402, according to the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) report. IC3 officials estimate these infections caused damages of well over $1.6 million to the affected parties.

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The report only includes data from 2015, when even if ransomware was a dangerous threat, it never reached the levels it attained during the first few months of 2016.

Previous reports by Enigma Software and Kaspersky found ransomware campaigns intensified at the start of the year, growing 14 percent year-over-year.

Taking into account that the FBI’s report only includes official complaints filed with the agency in the U.S., worldwide numbers are much higher, and total damages will most likely be in the billions.

Telemetry data only from Kaspersky security products discovered over 372,000 ransomware attacks, and these were the ones detected and stopped. There are countless users who don’t use Kaspersky products or don’t use security solutions at all.

“Recent [ransomware] iterations target enterprise end users, making awareness and training a critical preventative measure,” the IC3 report points out to U.S. companies.

Besides ransomware, other cyber crimes brought into discussion in IC3’s report include identity theft (21,949 complaints), personal data breaches (19,632 complaints), credit card fraud (17,172 complaints), confidence/romance fraud (12,509 complaints), business email compromise (BEC) (7,837 complaints), malware (3,249 complaints), corporate data breach (2,499 complaints), and Denial of Service (1,020 complaints).

Of these, the FBI said during 2015, alongside ransomware, BEC scams also saw a huge rise in complaints, causing the biggest damages of all recorded cyber crimes, causing losses of $246 million.