Top 4 Ransomware Attacks on Businesses [2020 – 2021]

ransomware

Cyberattacks are an issue that almost every business and organization faces in today’s world. On the global scale, it is a threat to the national and international interests of a country. The aftermath of a cyberattack is harmful to businesses and organizations. Among other things, companies suffer a bad reputation due to a cyberattack. 

Data breaches can lead to loss of customer data, including usernames and passwords. Ransomware is one of the most common types of cyberattacks conducted on a company. Some experts note that ransomware attacks are on the rise.

Ransomware involves the use of malicious software that infects a computer. It effectively encrypts all the user data and prevents them from accessing it. It uses encryption algorithms to encrypt the data. As a result, the hacker holds the data ransom until the victim can pay money to the hacker. The money is usually paid through digital currency, such as bitcoin. Once the hacker receives the money, they provide access to the victim (decryption key). Ransomware attacks use phishing techniques through emails, SMS messages, and other means to trick a person into downloading malicious software.

Hence, no company or individual is immune from ransomware. The following companies are among the recent organizations to have faced a ransomware attack:

1. JBS

JBS is one of the leading meat suppliers in the world. Recently, it was the victim of a cyberattack (ransomware). According to the company, the ransomware attack originated from Russia. As a result of the attack, the company had to halt some of its operations. The company was unable to deliver its products for several days. Hence, the company also had to stop its cattle slaughter in the USA. In Australia, operations also came to a slow down. Because of this, the prices of the products rose, much to the dissatisfaction of the customers. 

2. Spectra Logic

A data storage company, Spectra Logic, was also under a ransomware attack. A few months ago, the company received notifications of several system failures. The company was forced to disconnect its server and data centers to prevent the malware from spreading. The hackers were demanding a payment of $3.6 million in bitcoin. In exchange, they would provide the decryption key so that the company could access its data. 

The company faced another attack in 2020 at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic when employees were working from home. However, the IT department was quick to react to the spread of malware and prevent the situation from exacerbating. 

3. The University of California at San Francisco

Last year, in June, the UCSF had to pay hackers about $1.14 million in bitcoin. The hackers were able to infiltrate the institution’s network. While negotiations with the hackers were taking place, the IT specialists tried to isolate the malware from infecting other systems. The hackers were able to encrypt the data of the School of Medicine at UCSF. 

While the cyberattack was taking place, the IT administrators unplugged the computers to prevent the malware from spreading. Despite these attempts, the University was unable to avoid the onslaught of the attack. Ultimately, they had to pay the hackers to receive the decryption key.

4. Brenntag

Several chemical companies, including Brenntag, Siegfried, and Symrise, were hit by a ransomware attack last month. The DarkSide malware targeted the companies and demanded a ransom. Brenntag was forced to pay $4.4 million in bitcoin as ransom to the company. The North American division of the company was hit by a cyberattack. The company is refraining from providing many details. 

Chemical companies have recently become the target of hackers that try to disrupt operations and trade agreements between countries. Hence, these types of attacks are a threat to national and international security.

Conclusion

With ransomware attacks on the rise, companies and governments must invest in cybersecurity solutions to prevent this from happening.

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