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Worldwide Ransomware Grows by 50%

Worldwide Ransomware Grows by 50%

Ransomware attacks on businesses worldwide have grown by 50% since last year.

Its popularity means malware is now responsible for 51% of all the incidents analysed in the annual Verizon data breach report.

The report analysed almost 2,000 breaches to discover how firms were caught out by cyber thieves.

Marc Spitler, senior manager at Verizon’s security research division, said the rapid rise in the number of successful ransomware attacks was widely expected. He said this was because so many malicious hacking groups were adopting the tactic.

He said: "Ransomware is all about how they can get more money per infected device,"

A separate report from security firm Symantec found the average amount paid by victims of ransomware had risen to $1,077 (£834).

Mr Spitler said consumers were likely to be hit straight away with ransomware, but attacks on businesses were stealthier. He said often attackers burrowed deeper into a company’s infrastructure to find key databases that were then scrambled before payment was sought.

He said: "These attacks are all about getting a foothold on a system.”

Chief technology officer for Symantec in Europe, Darren Thompson, said the reports statistics suggest about one in every 131 email messages was now harbouring some kind of email threat.

He said: "They are arriving in Word documents and Excel spreadsheets.”

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