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Repeat ransomware attacks hit 80% of victims who paid ransoms


Organizations that pay up after a ransomware attack incur a high probability of a second attack.

New research from endpoint security vendor Cybereason examined the short and long-term impacts ransomware has on businesses through a survey of 1,263 infosec professionals from the U.S., United Kingdom, Spain, Germany, France, United Arab Emirates and Singapore. One of the most significant findings of the survey was that 80% of organizations that paid ransom demands experienced a second attack.

To make matters worse, of those who did get attacked again, nearly half said they believed it was at the hands of the same attackers, while just 34% said they believed the second attack was perpetrated by a different set of threat actors.

Additionally, paying does not guarantee operations will go back to normal, according to the Cybereason report. Of those surveyed, 46% regained access to their data following payment, but some or all of the data was corrupted. And 25% of respondents said a ransomware attack led to their organization closing down.

Cybereason’s report presents troubling data around the growing threat of repeat attacks. Though 80% is higher than Cybereason co-founder and CTO Yonatan Striem-Amit expected, he said it was not that surprising. The reason for the remarkably high percentage is that when businesses make the choice to pay the ransom, they may be solving an immediate problem, Striem-Amit said. But they are also announcing their willingness to pay potentially large sums of money to resolve a crisis.

Striem-Amit said cybercriminals have gotten better at identifying would-be targets, and the larger ransomware groups are specializing in big game hunting — going after major multinational corporations with targeted intrusion techniques. The problem has become so bad that the White House recently issued a ransomware directive just for businesses.

“When victims are paying, they’re putting a sign to attackers: we’re open for business,” he said. “The criminals then attack these victims again before they have a chance to ramp up their security practices.”

Repeat attack causes

Cybereason isn’t the only vendor to observe the trend of organizations being attacked multiple…

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School districts say cyber security attacks are a growing risk – KATU

Protect yourself from online attacks that threaten your identity, your files, your system, and your financial well-being.



School districts say cyber security attacks are a growing risk  KATU

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High-profile ransomware attacks highlight growing need for cybersecurity professionals

Protect yourself from online attacks that threaten your identity, your files, your system, and your financial well-being.




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The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a 31% growth rate for information security analysts from 2019-29, far exceeding the national average for all occupations.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a 31% growth rate for information security analysts from 2019-29, far exceeding the national average for all occupations.

By TYLER ELLYSON
UNK Communications

KEARNEY – The ransomware attacks against Colonial Pipeline Co. and JBS are the latest on a long list of high-profile cybercrimes targeting businesses in the U.S.

This time, the mysterious criminals managed to temporarily shut down the nation’s largest fuel pipeline and threaten the country’s meat supply, forcing the companies to pay a combined $15.4 million before they could resume normal operations.

These attacks, where criminals take an organization’s data or computer system hostage, are a growing national security concern. As technology advances, so too does the risk to individuals, businesses, school systems, hospitals, infrastructure and governments.

Jacques Bou Abdo
Jacques Bou Abdo

Jacques Bou Abdo, an assistant professor in the University of Nebraska at Kearney’s Department of Cyber Systems, called the most recent incidents “the tip of the iceberg,” noting that most cyberattacks aren’t reported publicly.

“We are now waking up to how real this threat is,” he said.

To stay ahead of hackers and organized crime groups, businesses, organizations and government agencies of all sizes are looking to beef up their digital security and recruit highly trained professionals who can help protect their assets.

That’s led to a huge demand for cybersecurity talent.

“The demand is very, very high, and it’s going to continue to grow in a very exponential way because of what we’re seeing,” said UNK professor Liaquat Hossain, who chairs the department of cyber systems.

Liaquat Hossain
Liaquat Hossain

Currently, there’s a severe shortage of cybersecurity professionals both nationally and globally. A 2020 survey by (ISC)², a nonprofit organization that specializes in cybersecurity training and certification, puts the number of unfilled positions at 359,000 in the U.S. and 3.1 million worldwide.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a 31% growth rate for information security analysts from 2019-29, far exceeding the national average for all…

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War against cyber attacks demands intense response

Protect yourself from online attacks that threaten your identity, your files, your system, and your financial well-being.


They are high-tech burglaries — only worse.

Cyberattacks are the electronic equivalent of war; instead of corpses scattered on the battlefield, businesses face the brunt of the burden, with commerce disrupted and psyches shaken.

A new and chilling form of terrorism, the attacks emerge from the murky world of the “dark internet” — a term which, unfamiliar to many, may become all too common.

We witnessed the damage, both real and potential, on May 7, when a criminal gang launched a ransomware hit against Colonial Pipeline Co.

The company, which says it transports about 45 percent of all gasoline consumed on the East Coast, shut down operations after the attack, causing a fuel shortage across the region.

Gasoline prices rose an average of 6 cents a gallon, according to the American Automobile Association, and motorists searched frantically for pumps that had not gone dry.

The federal government declared a regional emergency, allowing the transportation of fuel through tanker trucks instead of the 5,500-mile pipeline between New York and Texas.

How did the attack happen?

Described by the FBI as a Russia-based cybercrime group, DarkSide used malware to encrypt company files, threatening to leak the data it downloaded if its ransom demands were not met.

Colonial officials said a catastrophe was averted when the company, a day after the hit, paid a ransom of $4.4 million in bitcoin; U.S. officials later said they recovered $2.3 million.

“I know how critical our pipeline is to the country,” Colonial CEO Joseph Blount told the Senate Homeland Security Committee, defending his decision to pay the ransom. “And I put the interests of the country first.”

Both the government and the private sector must guard against the potential danger of these attacks. The enemies do not wear uniforms or brandish guns. They emerge from the dark labyrinth of the internet, and they are cold, calculating and brutal.

“The analogy would be I break into your house, and once I get access to…

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