4 reasons for ransomware's rise

In the latest ransomware incident in healthcare, a hacker accessed the medical records of four different healthcare organizations, seeking a ransom and threatening more data dumps in the future. The healthcare industry is likely to experience more ransomware-related incidents, as security experts warn such attacks are on the rise.

Here are four reasons for the rise in ransomware, according to security software provider Kaspersky Lab.

1. The reliance upon automated business processes heightens the threat of ransomware because organizations operating on deadline may not have any choice other to pay. For example, if an organization has to submit tax documentation the next day and is hit with ransomware, they often have no choice but to pay the ransom, according to Kaspersky Lab.

2. The rise in crypto-currencies like bitcoin provides hackers a shroud of secrecy unlike traditional payment systems transferring money that can be tracked and blocked. "Criminals have started to exploit the advantages crypto-currencies [has] over other type of e-currency: anonymity and a distributed nature, which both allow them to hide fraudulent transactions and make it impossible for a law enforcement agency to do anything, as the system has no center and no owner," according to the report.

3.  Hackers don't necessarily need specific programming skills to attack users because affiliate criminal networks have emerged. The "criminal ecosystem" has expanded where there are niches for different types of criminals. "With multiple affiliate networks on the market, [criminals] need only basic skills in programming and web design," according to the report.

4. Finally, ransomware is on the rise because law enforcement does not always know how to respond to it, according to the report. Many ransomware attacks happen to individuals who don't always report the incident to law enforcement, so agencies often have limited evidence to investigate, according to the report.

More articles on ransomware:

Android ransomware attacks increase four-fold in past year 
HHS issues ransomware guidance to healthcare organizations 
One reason ransomware hackers might undermine themselves 


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