Trend Micro report: Ransomware booming

The profitability of ransomware made it the top cyber threat last year in two categories: the number of attacks and the amount of money generated for crooks, according to a Trend Micro lookback on data collected from customers.

Not only is the ransomware business booming, it’s innovating, with Trend Micro researchers identifying 752 new families last year, up from 29 in 2015.

Add to this the rise of ransomware as a service (RaaS) and payments made to anonymous bitcoin accounts, and the result is a booming criminal enterprise worth $1 billion last year, according to TrendLabs 2016 Security Roundup. Neophyte crooks are being drawn in because it’s so easy to set up a ransomware operation, the report says. “Since RaaS is available in the underground, the service provides fledgling cybercriminals the necessary tools to run their own extortion campaigns,” it says.

Mostly – 79% of the time – ransomware is spread via spam and victims clicking on malicious links or opening attachments that contain the malware, the report says.

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