Halloween Hackers: Scariest Ransomware Stories

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Forget ghosts and goblins, recent ransomware attacks are more frightening and are a greater cause for concern. Without a doubt, ransomware is the top security threat facing businesses and organizations of all sizes and industries. With 80% of organizations hit by a ransomware attack in 2021, 2022 ransomware threats have been proven to be even more detrimental.

Ransomware attacks can cause a variety of disruptions including customer loss, reputation damage, operational disruptions, and compromised data. Perhaps the most worrisome problem associated with ransomware attacks is high costs. Consider the following statistics:

Ransomware attacks aren’t disappearing anytime soon, so now is the time to protect your organization. Continue reading to learn more about recent ransomware stories, become familiar with ransomware trends, and discover our top recommendations for preventing ransomware attacks.

Scariest Ransomware Stories in 2022

Costa Rica Government: This was the first time a country declared a cyber attack as a nationwide emergency. The first attack resulted from the ransomware group Conti, who demanded over $10 million in ransom from the Costa Rican Ministry of Finance. The news reported that “the compromised credentials were obtained from malware installed on the initial device compromised on the victim network.”

Toyota: Toyota was hit hard when their major Japanese supplier, Kojima Industries, experienced a cyber attack. What’s more, two other Toyota suppliers, Denso and Bridgestone, fell victim to ransomware attacks 11 days later. These attacks had massive repercussions — forcing many Japanese plants to close, compromising company networks, and halting Middle and North American production facilities.

Nvidia: The ransomware group LAPSUS$ carried out a ransomware attack against Nvidia, the largest microchip company in the United States. The attack resulted in taking Nvidia’s business offline for two days. The group also threatened to leak 1 TB in sensitive data.

Ransomware Trends in 2022

Staying updated on the latest ransomware trends and threats can help better prepare your organization to stay ahead of hackers. Here are a few ransomware trends worth noting:

  • Hackers are trying to infiltrate as many systems as they can. As security postures become more complex and layered, hackers are keeping up. They now have the ability to use cross-platform functionality to compromise organizations.
  • Ransomware technology tools are becoming more sophisticated. Just like any technology tool nowadays, hackers are using the latest technology to develop robust ransomware tools.
  • Ransomware groups are using world events and politics to their advantage. Hackers utilized the pandemic and the Russian-Ukraine conflict to achieve their malevolent goals and manipulate their victims.

How to Prevent Ransomware Attacks

Although our current ransomware threat landscape looks quite dismal, there are key steps your organization can take to reduce your risk, stay prepared, and protect your data. We recommend the following tools and strategies:

  • Assess your unique ransomware risks and develop clear plans accordingly. Better yet, create a response plan and ensure everyone on your team understands it so they are prepared in the event a ransomware attack occurs.
  • Implement proper data back up and recovery services. The MS-ISAC finds this to be the best way to recover from a ransomware attack. Enable tools that proactively back up your most important assets to minimize downtime and keep your organization running.
  • Secure and update your systems. Ensure all endpoints are protected and updated to avoid security gaps.
  • Implement threat detection services to always stay ahead.
  • Add ransomware training to your team’s overall cybersecurity training. This will equip your team with the knowledge they need to stop ransomware in its tracks.

Stay Protected With Varsity

As the leading IT provider for nonprofits and educational institutions, we strive to support our clients in risk management and business continuity as ransomware risks increase. We provide a range of flexible and customizable security services to fit any budget. Our services allow you to scale up or down as your organization’s needs change. If you’d like to see how we can help reduce your ransomware risk, feel free to reach out to us. We look forward to supporting your organization.