💥 The year of the ransomware attack

On Monday the federal government recovered most of the hefty, crypto ransom that had been paid to Russian hackers who targeted the Colonial Pipeline a few weeks ago. 

It’s a reminder that ransomware attacks are on the rise, affecting everything from tech companies to the beef industry.

  • Plenty of factors have led to this: A lot has to do with work from home lifestyles -- protective measures that had been set by I.T. departments no longer hold up. Alternately, people stuck at home have gotten bored and turned to hacking. There’s also crypto. Previously shy hacking groups now know they can be paid off in a way that is difficult to trace. 

  • This is also about Russia: It was a Russian hacking group that went after the Colonial Pipeline and JBS, the food processing company. And U.S. officials say the Russian government may actually be involved. 

What companies should do for protection

To avoid ransomware attacks, experts suggest updating software often and keeping a data backup handy (that way you could replace your system when a virus is uploaded). Hiring an outside consultant is always an easy step, too, if you have the money. 

The Verdict

 Ransomware attacks are up over 100% compared to the first six months of last year. This problem isn’t going away.