Nearly half of global ransomware attacks targeted US in 2021

Cybersecurity, News
  • Out of 2,845 witnessed ransomware attacks worldwide, cybercriminals launched 1,352 of them at the US last year.
  • Cybercriminals targeted French organizations in 146 ransomware attacks.
  • 1 in 5 ransomware attacks is directed to a European country.
  • The industrial and energy sector suffered 599 ransomware attacks globally in 2021.
  • Threat actors chose businesses in the retail industry as targets in 545 ransomware attacks last year.
According to the recent findings by the Atlas VPN team, in 2021, 48% of ransomware attacks were directed at the United States. Furthermore, industrial and energy, retail, and finance industry businesses were among the most threatened sectors.
Out of 2,845 witnessed ransomware attacks worldwide, cybercriminals launched 1,352 of them at the US last year. Cybercriminals targeted businesses that affected thousands, if not millions of people, such as the cyberattacks on Colonial Pipeline, JBS Foods, and Kaseya.
Cybercriminals targeted French organizations in 146 ransomware attacks. Last year, French cybersecurity officials identified a ransomware affiliate group Lockean, responsible for many cyberattacks launched at companies in France.
The United Kingdom and Germany rank fourth and fifth on the list, as organizations there suffered from 139 and 115 ransomware attacks, respectively.
Cybersecurity writer at Atlas VPN Vilius Kardelis shares his thoughts on ransomware attacks:
“Ransomware attacks rose significantly against businesses and government entities in 2021, a trend likely to carry on to 2022. While organizations are scrambling for more cybersecurity resources, educating your employees about the best cyber defence practices is just as important.”
Most targeted industries
Many hacker groups target giant corporations because their disruption causes the most harm.
The industrial and energy sector suffered 599 ransomware attacks globally in 2021. Cybercriminals can disrupt usual gas and electricity flow and cause shortages by attacking energy infrastructure.
Threat actors chose businesses in the retail industry as targets in 545 ransomware attacks last year. Hackers target retailers when they are most vulnerable, such as during the Black Friday or Christmas sale seasons.
The finance industry experienced 355 ransomware attacks from cybercriminals. Hackers perceive financial organizations to be wealthy, thus making them potential targets with high payout opportunities.
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Chris Price
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