Emsisoft: the number of ransomware attacks on the US public sector has decreased

According to Emsisoft, the number of successful ransomware attacks on the US public sector has significantly decreased-in the first quarter, only 89 organizations were subjected to them.

A report by Emsisoft, a company specializing in cybersecurity, says that in the first quarter of this year, 89 organizations were victims of ransomware viruses. As the coronavirus spread, the number of successful attacks decreased to levels “not seen for several years.”

So, in January, 19 attacks were made on state organizations, and in March their number fell to 7. the situation developed Similarly in the educational sector – 10 successful attacks in January, 14 in February and 2 in March. There were 10 attacks on healthcare organizations in January and 3 in March.

The downward trend in the number of ransomware attacks continued in the second quarter, with only 7 successful attacks registered between April 1 and April 20. According to Emsisoft, this decline can be explained by the coronavirus pandemic, as the suspension of many services and organizations reduces the number of possible targets for hackers.

Despite the fact that remote work of employees can increase the vulnerability of the organization from the point of view of cybersecurity, Emsisoft claims that this paradoxically simultaneously creates new problems for hackers. Emsisoft analyst Brett Callow explained:

“When setting up their infrastructure to support work at home, many organizations have improved the security of remote access, which is often used by hackers to infiltrate corporate networks. For ransomware, it is most valuable to get access to a corporate device, but now they most often penetrate the user’s personal device, which connects to corporate resources only periodically.”

Emsisoft clarifies that the reduction in the number of ransomware attacks is “temporary”. Emsisoft technical Director Fabian Wosar said:

“Companies suffer financially, and many rely on government support programs to survive. I am sure that the few companies that will suffer from hacker attacks in the coming weeks will go down – the attacks will be the straw that broke the camel’s back.”

Although Emsisoft data shows a decrease in the number of ransomware attacks on the public sector, law enforcement agencies are concerned. At the beginning of the month, Interpol warned that cybercriminals have stepped up their efforts to spread ransomware viruses in hospital information systems in order to obtain large ransoms in cryptocurrency.