- The Washington Times
Tuesday, March 30, 2021

Ransomware attacks are increasing steadily in 2021, according to the cybersecurity firm Check Point Research.

The firm observed a 9% increase each month in 2021 in ransomware attacks hitting organizations that it tracks. Since last October, the number of ransomware attacks that the firm observed has risen 57%.

“In cybercrime, we rarely see businesses that demonstrate constant growth, or rapid adjustments to changing factors, as well as quick adoptions of new technologies. Ransomware is one of those rare businesses,” Lotem Finkelstein, Check Point’s manager of threat intelligence, said in a statement.

The top three countries that saw the most ransomware attack attempts were the U.S., Israel and India, according to Check Point Research. The top targets for attackers are the government and military, the manufacturing sector, and the finance and banking industry.

The firm also observed an increase in attacks attempting to exploit potential Microsoft Exchange Server vulnerabilities, and Check Point Research is recommending organizations move quickly to defend their networks before exploits leveraging the vulnerabilities become popular with ransomware gangs.

Mr. Finkelstein said while his firm has not found a direct tie between the rise in ransomware attacks and attempted cyberattacks involving the Exchange servers, he said he thinks there is cause for concern.

Other cybersecurity groups monitoring ransomware have observed steady growth late in 2020, too. The FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center was also flooded with ransomware complaints in 2020’s final months. 

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