3 Major Ransomware Attacks You Didn’t Know About

Ransomware is a fast-growing type of malware used by hackers in the 21st century. This malware hazard is a threat to both small businesses and big corporations across the world. In addition, it is very damaging and quickly spreads across networks infecting computers and mobile devices. After it has compromised a system, it encrypts all data and leaves a ransom note demanding payment in cryptocurrency. After payment, the user receives decryption keys to restore their files.

A ransomware attack can damage your business in many ways. You may have to stop your business operations for weeks, you risk reputational damage due to angry customers, and you may not be confident in your IT security professionals. To prevent ransomware attacks, you should highly consider hiring an IT company in San Gabriel Valley to monitor your network, especially if it is connected to several third-party suppliers.

WannaCry Outbreak – 2017

Launched in 2017, WannaCry is one of the worst ransomware attacks in the World in terms of loss and volume. The malware was introduced through phishing emails, and it exploited the Eternalblue, a Microsoft vulnerability. The ransomware attack struck hospitals in the UK, internet service providers, car manufacturers, and other high-profile companies and individuals worldwide. It is estimated that more than 300,000 people across the world were affected by the attack, and the ransom demanded was $300 in bitcoin for each infected machine.  

SamSam Ransomware – 2018

Also referred to as SamsamCrypt or Samas, SamSam is a ransomware malware that was first identified in late 2015. However, it was until 2018 that it became more prominent after it infected several organizations in different sectors in the U.S. and internationally.

This malware infected most parts of Atlanta, the Port of San Diego, and the Colorado Department of Transportation. It was also reported to have affected different companies in the UK, Canada, Portugal, France, Israel, Australia, and the Middle East. The SamSam ransomware led to an estimated loss of $30 million. In fact, in Atlanta alone, the attack cost the city approximately $2 million to repair the damage.  

Conti Ransomware Operation – May 2021

The most recent and newest attack you may not know about was launched by the Conti gang. The malware targeted and seriously disrupted Ireland’s healthcare system. The attack spread quickly and forced Ireland’s Health Service Executive to disconnect some IT systems to limit the spread. Although they successfully saved some of their machines, most of them had already been infected. The Conti gang has recently released the key to decrypt the encrypted files but has maintained they may release the data if the HSE doesn’t pay the $20 million ransom.

Ransomware attacks can negatively impact your business. Although backing up your data is a good practice, sometimes your backups can also get infected. Keep in mind that even after paying the ransom, attackers may choose not to send the decryption keys, and sometimes the decryption keys can damage your files. To mitigate such a risk, ensure that you consult experienced IT professionals from a reliable IT company in San Gabriel Valley.