The pandemic triggered a ransomware havoc. Hospitals were shut down, pipelines were clogged, governments were held for ransom, and even the world’s biggest tech company was blackmailed. There are numerous other examples. The FBI estimated that ransomwares caused $29.1 million in damages in 2020. India is not untouched by ransomware. 74% Indian companies were hit by ransomware attacks in the same year.
Yet all of this data represents only a small proportion of the losses due to cyber attack. U.S businesses suffered a loss of $4 billion, while Indian organisations lost a massive $17.27 billion.
But did we learn anything?
Doesn’t look that way.
According to a report by Check Point Research, India is the most ransomware affected nation in 2021. Organisations on an average face 213 attacks every week, against 51 in the Asia Pacific Region, 29 in the North America, and 14 in Europe in Latin America. Africa faces only 4 attacks per week.
Darkside ransomware earns $90 million in 9 months
The most prominent reason for the rise in ransomware attack is the new ‘business model’ giving it a boost. Modern ransomware developers now run ransomware as a service businesses. They allow any affiliate to subscribe to their tools and execute attacks. The affiliate/ attacker also earns a percentage of each successful ransom payment. The developers even develop high end tools like a dashboard to display the real time status of the attack.
And the business model seems to be thriving. BleepingComputer has reported that the DarkSide ransomware gang has collected at least $90 million in ransoms over the past nine months. Since these payments go to Bitcoins wallets, 47 distinct wallets revealed the data.
There are more ransomware groups operating, each earning in millions every month. However, since the colonial pipeline attack, the FBI reportedly seized Darkside’s servers and bitcoins. The developers also had to shut the affiliate program.