Our picks: RansomwareRansomware Could Lead to War | Ransomware Attacks Hit Record | Whole Towns Are Targeted, and more

Published 3 August 2021

·  “It’s Quite Feasible to Start a War”: Just How Dangerous Are Ransomware Hackers?

·  Russia’s New Form of Organized Crime Is Menacing the World

·  Aussie Orgs Most Likely to Pay Ransomware Attackers: IDC

·  Ransomware Attacks Hit Record $300 Million in First Half of 2021: Report

·  Police Computer Systems Ill-Prepared to Cope with Ransomware Attack

·  Ransomware Attacks: No Longer a Matter of “If,” but “When”

·  How Data-Driven Patch Management Can Defeat Ransomware

·  Inside a Ransomware Negotiation: This Is How ‘Asshole’ Russian Hackers Shake Down Companies

·  Texas Ransomware Attack Shows What Can Happen When Whole Towns Are Targeted

“It’s Quite Feasible to Start a War”: Just How Dangerous Are Ransomware Hackers?  (Sirin Kale, Guardian)
Secretive gangs are hacking the computers of governments, firms, even hospitals, and demanding huge sums. But if we pay these ransoms, are we creating a ticking time bomb?

Russia’s New Form of Organized Crime Is Menacing the World  (Editorial Board, New York Times)
Ransomware attacks can cripple critical infrastructure like hospitals and schools and even core functions of major cities. In about a dozen years, ransomware has emerged as a major cyberproblem of our time,big enough for President Biden to put it at the top of his agenda with Russia’s president, Vladimir Putin, when they met in June.
It is a war that needs to be fought, and won. 
The F.B.I. internet Crime Report for 2020 listed 2,474 attacks in the United States, with losses totaling more than $29.1 million. The reality is probably of a different magnitude. 
The problem will not be solved with patches, antivirus software or two-factor authentication, though security experts stress that every bit of protection helps. 
The battle must be joined elsewhere, and the place to start is Russia. That, according to the experts, is where the majority of attacks originate. Three other countries — China, Iran and North Korea — are also serious players, and the obvious commonality is that all are autocracies whose security apparatuses doubtlessly know full well who the hackers are and could shut them down in a minute. So the presumption is that the criminals are protected, either through bribes — which, given their apparent profits, they can distribute lavishly — or by doing pro bono work for the government or both.

Aussie Orgs Most Likely to Pay Ransomware Attackers: IDC  (Ben Moore, CRN)
Australian organizations are the most willing in the world to pay a ransom if they were hit by a ransomware attack, according to a new report by analyst firm IDC.

Ransomware Attacks Hit Record $300 Million in First Half of 2021: Report  (The Statesman)
The top five regions most impacted by ransomware in the first half of 2021 were the U.S., the U.K., Germany, South Africa, and Brazil.The $304.7 million in the first six months of 2021 surpass 2020’s full-year total of $304.6 million.

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