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A Bad Start to the Year: Ransomware Spikes 130% in January

Digital Transactions

Already, 2024 is starting off with an unrelenting wave of ransomware attacks. The number of attacks last month, as registered by cybersecurity firm BlackFog, increased 130% from January 2023.

Cheyenne, Wyo.-based BlackFog says the 76 attacks noted this January are the second-highest it has ever recorded. The highest number came only in November, when nearly 90 attacks happened. The insidious nature of ransomware can mean companies pay to get their data decrypted by the criminals who scrambled it, and often have expensive followup actions to complete.

BlackFog’s data shows that the education sector, at 14, saw the most attacks followed by healthcare at eight and manufacturing at seven. Finance endured five attacks in January. The data also show that, in the past few months, ransomware attackers made a decided shift to small and mid-size organizations.

Most attacks still seek to extract data, with 91% of all ransomware having that goal, it says. The average ransom payout is $568,705, down 33% from the third quarter of 2023.

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