Ransomware Payments Increase In Q4

It’s no such surprise that ransomware is still one of the cyber tactics of choice for criminals, especially when data compiled by security vendor Coveware discovered that ransomware payments had more than doubled in the final three months of 2019.

In it’s Q4 Ransomware Marketplace Report, it revealed that the average payment in Q4 was $84,116. A staggering 104% increase on the previous quarter. Coveware claimed the jump highlights the diversity of hackers utilising ransomware today.

It argued:

“Some variants such as Ryuk and Sodinokibi have moved into the large enterprise spaces and are focusing their attacks on large companies where they can attempt to extort the organisation for a seven-figure payout. For instance, Ryuk ransom payments reached a new high of $780,000 for impacted enterprises.

“On the other end of the spectrum, smaller ransomware-as-a-service variants such as Dharmam Snatch and Netwalker continue to blanket the small business space with a high number of attacks, but with demands as low as $1,500.”

Along with the increase in payments, there was also an increase in ‘downtime’ for organisations that were hit by the cyber attack. This average went from 12.1 days in the previous quarter to 16.2 days in Q4.

The increase in downtime was attributed to a larger number of attacks targeting major enterprises with more complex network infrastructure. This can take longer for businesses to restore claimed Coveware.

According to the data, 98% of organisations that paid a ransom received a decryption key, and those victims successfully decrypted 97% of their data. However, with multi-million-dollar ransoms now commonplace, the official advice is still not to give in to the hackers’ demands, especially as it will lead to continued attacks.