After a slow year in 2022, ransom payments for corporate software hijacking nearly doubled to $1.1 billion last year, according to a report by analytics firm Chainalysis. In 2022, that amount was $567 million.

According to Chainalysis, ransomware has intensified its activities targeting large institutions such as hospitals, schools and government offices.

In 2023, ransomware directly affected 46 U.S. hospital systems, which experienced disruptions due to lack of access to IT systems and patient data, according to cybersecurity firm Emsisoft. This is more than in 2022 – 25 and in 2021 – 27 cases. The story was worst in primary schools, where 108 cases were reported.

For example, the attack on MGM alone cost the company over $100 million in lost revenue, including $10 million in consulting fees. However, since the entertainment giant reportedly chose not to pay the ransom, it is not included in the chart above.

According to the analysis, the decrease in the activity of thugs, which occurred in 2022, was largely caused by the ongoing Russian-Ukrainian conflict. “This conflict has not only disrupted the operations of some cyber actors, but also shifted their focus from financial gain to politically motivated espionage and cyberattacks aimed at destruction.”

Many ransomware operators are based in Eastern Europe – both Russia and Ukraine. Due to military service and fleeing from military war zones, their activity probably also decreased.

Source: 9TO5Mac