🖱️ Why hackers have been so successful lately 

2020: Terrible for everyone. Except...hackers??

  • Ransomware attacks are going way up: The NYT explains that it’s because of a shift in the way tech-savvy fraudsters operate. The hackers who used to steal bank accounts and credit card info have discovered it’s more lucrative to freeze companies’ essential data and charge them a ransom. 

  • Insurance doesn’t always help, either: Companies that buy insurance have also made themselves targets. That’s because hackers know they’re basically guaranteed a payout from an insured company. 

  • Inside the numbers: Charles Carmakal, who’s in charge of a major cybersecurity company, told the NYT his firm worked on about 100 ransomware cases in September. That was more than double what he saw the same month last year. Among the ransomware victims are law firms and hospitals, and the complications from ransomware have led to sick patients being turned away from healthcare and coronavirus vaccine trials being delayed. 

The Verdict

There’s no good answer for dealing with a ransomware attack. Carmakal noted that companies must assess the risks and rewards individually. And there’s also likely no stopping the rise of ransomware until law enforcement catches up or enough hacked companies stop paying.