State of Ransomware Attacks Faced by Companies in 2020


With growing technology landscape, ransomware is emerging as a serious threat.

Ransomware is not clandestine for modern businesses. It is a kind of malicious software aimed at blocking access to a computer system or files with the purpose of demanding a sum of money. Ransomware attacks are one of the major threats in the corporate arena, causing a loss of both capital and reputation. No one industry across the globe is spared from this attack, especially healthcare, government, education, manufacturing, retail and public sector, among others are the major disrupted domain.

Most recently, Cognizant, one of the world’s largest providers of IT services, reportedly said having a victim of a ransomware attack that caused disruptions to its clients. Considering reports, the company was triggered by the Maze ransomware group that hit its internal systems and service disruptions for some of its clients.

On the other side, sport and fitness tech giant Garmin was also hit by a ransomware attack, causing disruption to the company’s online services for millions of users, including Garmin Connect, which syncs user activity and data to the cloud and other devices. The attack also took down its aviation navigation and route-planning service, flyGarmin.


How Do Companies Get Involved in Ransomware Attacks?

Often, ransomware is performed through phishing emails that consist of malicious attachments or files. It is also inserted through drive-by downloading, which occurs when a user unknowingly visits an infected website and then malware is downloaded and installed without the user’s knowledge. After installing, they take over the victim’s computer, mainly if they have built-in social engineering tools that fool users into allowing administrative access.

For instance, Petya and NotPetya are two related pieces of malware that compromised thousands of computers across the world during 2016 and 2017. While NotPetya has more potential tools that can help it spread and taint computers, Petya is a standard piece of ransomware that aims to make a few quick Bitcoin from victims.

Standard ransomware rarely targets individually where attackers build a list or lists of emails or compromised websites and insert ransomware.

There are a large number of companies around the globe hit by ransomware attacks every year and loss billions of dollars. Here we have enlisted some biggest attacks infected companies in the world in 2020 so far. 

List of Companies Hit by Ransomware in 2020 so far.

In January, San Miguel County in Colorado witnessed a ransomware attack by an unknown group which infected one of its servers. In its response to the attack, all employees at the county courthouse were told to disconnect from all servers and turn off all devices to limit the information available.

In the same month, a group of hackers compromised Saskatchewan’s eHealth records done through the first level of security surrounding the electronic information warehouse and locked the government out of some systems.

In May, hackers inserted ransomware in a Windows 10 system in the IT environment of Florence, Alabama. In addition, a cyberattack by ransomware gang DoppelPaymer in early June took down the city’s email system, demanded US$378,000 in Bitcoin, according to Florence Mayor Steve Holt. 

In early May, the Internet domain registrar and web hosting company GoDaddy notified their customers of getting data breached that may have resulted in their web hosting account credentials getting compromised. The company claims to have over 19 million customers across the world.

In July, one of Argentina’s largest Internet Service Providers (ISPs) Telecom Argentina witnessed a major ransomware attack demanded US$7.5 million in Monero cryptocurrency to unlock the encrypted files. But the company claimed that it has restored access to its systems and that it hasn’t caved in to the extortionists’ demands.

While organizations across the world grappled with the crisis induced by the COVID-19 pandemic, the landscape of ransomware attacks are increasing at a striking pace, putting organizations into even a worse scenario.

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