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Ransomware gangs adopt increasingly violent tactics


Ransomware gangs have adopted increasingly violent tactics over the past few years. A recent report from Mandiant, a security subsidiary of Google, shows that victims paid more than $1 billion to ransomware gangs in 2023, and that's just the amount of money we know about. Security experts say ransomware gangs have adopted increasingly harsh intimidation tactics. Brett Callow, an analyst at Emsisoft, said ransomware gangs have begun to threaten victims directly with phone calls and emails. For example, the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center was hit by a ransomware attack in 2023, and cancer patients received emails threatening that their personal information would be leaked if they didn't pay. Callow is worried about real-world violence, and if companies refuse to pay millions of dollars in ransoms, company executives or their families may face violent threats. According to leaked records of negotiations between victim companies and gangs, gangs have made verbal threats that they know where CEOs live. Researchers estimate that ransomware attacks caused the deaths of 42-67 medical patients between 2016 and 2021 due to delayed treatment after the hospital was attacked.

https://www.wired.com/story/state-of-ransomware-2024/

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