Ransomware still winning: Average ransom demand jumped by 45%


Group-IB unveils its guide to the evolution of threat number one “Ransomware Uncovered 2021/2022”. The findings of the second edition of the report indicate that the ransomware empire kept its winning streak going with the average ransom demand growing by 45% to reach $247,000 in 2021.

average ransom demand

Ransomware gangs have also become way greedier since 2020. A record-breaking ransom of $240 million ($30 mln in 2020) was demanded by Hive from MediaMarkt. Hive and another 2021 newcomer to the Big Game Hunting, Grief, quickly made its way to the top 10 gangs by the number of victims posted on dedicated leak sites (DLS).

Ransomware assembly line

The new report takes stock of the most up-to-date tactics, techniques, and procedures (TTPs) of ransomware threat actors observed across all geographic locations by Group-IB Digital Forensics and Incident Response (DFIR) team. In addition to the analysis of more than 700 attacks investigated, the report also examines ransomware DLS.

Human-operated ransomware attacks have maintained the global cyber threat landscape lead by solid margins over the last three years. The rise of initial access brokers and the expansion of Ransomware-as-a-Service programs (RaaS) have become the two main driving forces behind continuous growth of ransomware operations. RaaS made it possible for low-skilled cybercriminals to join the game to ultimately bring the victim numbers up.

Based on the analysis of more than 700 attacks in 2021, experts estimated that the ransom demand averaged $247,000 in 2021, 45% more than in 2020. Ransomware evolved with more sophistication which is clearly visible from the victim’s downtime, which increased from 18 days in 2020 to 22 days in 2021.

RaaS programs started offering their affiliates not only ransomware builds, but also custom tools for data exfiltration to simplify and streamline operations. As such, the double extortion technique became even more widespread – sensitive victim data was exfiltrated as a leverage to get the ransom paid in 63% of cases analyzed. Between the Q1’2021 and Q1’2022, ransomware gangs posted data belonging to more than 3,500 victims on DLS.

Most companies whose data was posted on DLS by…

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