Ransomware is a type of malware that stops users from accessing their data until a ransomware payment is arranged. The money is usually paid in cryptocurrencies to avoid any kind of detection. Ransomware criminals trick you into clicking on infected links. They usually do this by copying the general look of an email to mask their nefarious intentions.
This cybercrime has established a reputation as a high-yield revenue option, as you will soon see from our ransomware statistics. The truth is, however, that ransomware can only bring a large amount of money to individuals—it falls short with bigger hacker organizations. You will see in the text below how ransomware attacks have become less frequent, but at the same time, they’re becoming more and more targeted and sophisticated.
Key Ransomware Stats
Ransomware cost businesses more than $8 billion in the past year
The average cost of a ransomware attack on businesses is $133,000
The estimated losses in 2019 for the healthcare industry are $25 billion
The global spending on cybersecurity is over $14 billion
Ransomware is behind 56% of malware attacks
95% of ransomware profits went through the cryptocurrency trading platform BTC-e
General Ransomware Stats, Frequency, and Revenue
1. Ransomware’s minimum annual global revenue is $1 billion
Here’s your answer to the question, How much did ransomware make in 2018? This is a large sum, and as a 2018 study from Bromium suggests, cybercrime brings in more revenue than working in a legitimate company. This figure includes both of the types of ransomware, as in, encryption and screen-locking ransomware.
2. Ransomware cost businesses more than $8 billion per year in 2018
How much does ransomware cost? This is an incredibly high surge compared to 2016, when the annual cost of ransomware was estimated at $1 billion. It’s also important to mention that the money is only a part of what a company loses. The company’s reputation, the downtime, and other factors all amount to disastrous consequences behind these ransomware statistics.
3. There was a 79% overall increase in malware-targeted businesses in 2018
Attackers have realized that businesses will bring them a higher revenue than an individual person. Even though the use of ransomware has decreased, the attacks are now more targeted manual attacks, according to a 2019 report on the state of malware from Malwarebytes.
4. 25% of cyber insurance claims in 2017 were related to ransomware attacks (AIG, 2018)
This did not prove too effective, as most businesses seek help in vain. The amount of time businesses spend unable to access their data, as well as the costs of rebuilding, well surpass the ransom demand.
5. The average ransom demand was cut in half in 2018, dropping from $1,077 to $522
This mostly goes for small business ransomware attacks. The 2017 prices increased threefold when compared to 2016. Conversely, the average ransomware demand in 2018 is larger for enterprises.
6. GandCab Version 5 requires its victim to pay $2,499 for the decryption key
Some individual new versions of file-encrypting ransomware require quite a bit more money than the yearly average, as stated in the McAfee ransomware report from December 2018. Past versions asked for $1,000.
7. Fewer than a third of the businesses that pay the ransom retrieve all of their money
So much for the efficacy of the legal system and their ability to make up for the companies’ losses caused by cybercrime. Most businesses need to understand that, when it comes to ransomware.
8. The number of new ransomware variants has increased by 46%
Bigger, better, and more sophisticated ransomware strains are popping up on a daily basis. Some of the most profitable ransomware families are SamSam, Crypt XXX, GandCab, and Locky. The ever-evolving ransomware industry is not easy to tackle, and cybersecurity companies are struggling to keep up against new advancements.
9. The average cost of a ransomware attack on businesses was $133,000
This figure covers the ransom demanded, along with the price of downtime, the network costs, and manpower. Assessing the ransomware losses for businesses requires a multifactor analysis—it’s never just the ransom itself.
10. Less than one-quarter of SMBs report their ransomware attacks
According to a Datto report in 2018, one of the biggest problems is that most small to midsized businesses don’t bother to report this type of attack. This might be due to the low probability of getting their money back.
If you want to know how to report a ransomware attack to law enforcement, pay attention to the date of infection, the ransomware variant, how the infection occurred, and the actor’s cryptocurrency wallet address. It would also be useful to mention your business type, industry, and number of employees, along with your estimated overall losses.
11. Malicious activity from exploit kits dropped by 60% in 2016
This answers the question, How is ransomware delivered? Email is the preferred ransomware method with hackers all over the world to this day. It turns out that humans are once again the weak link criminals enjoy targeting.
12. A business will fall victim to a ransomware attack every 14 seconds by 2019, and every 11 seconds by 2021
A report that Cybersecurity Ventures released in 2019 shows the towering volume of cyberattacks companies have to face on a daily basis. In these rather bleak ransomware predictions, it’s clear the number of attacks is expected to grow.
13. The estimated losses in 2019 for the healthcare industry should be around $25 billion
A 2019 report from Singapore-based Cyber Risk Management (CyRiM) states that healthcare will be one of the most affected industries out there.
14. After an attack in 2018, the US hospital Hancock Health paid a $55,000 ransom to hackers
Hancock Health’s systems were infected by SamSam, the most successful ransomware in 2018. Despite having made backups, the prospect of spending days, even weeks fixing the damages this hospital ransomware caused was too much.
15. 2019’s global spending on cybersecurity is estimated to be over $14 billion
In 2018, the global spending on information security will see an increase of 12.4% from 2018. In 2019, the security market is estimated to grow by 8.7%.
16. Microsoft Security Essentials and Avast Free make up 30% of the security market
Popular options like Avast Bitdefender and Avira can fend off most of the threats and still run in the background. Online encryption tools as well as a ransomware antivirus are a must, but they might not protect you completely. Click on No More Ransom if you want to check which ransomware you’re dealing with, and whether it’s a false alarm. You can go from there.
17. In 2018, more than 77% of the businesses affected by ransomware were using up-to-date protection
This just goes to show that run-of-the-mill endpoint security doesn’t do enough to protect businesses from the latest ransomware threat. The targeted, well-thought-out, and sophisticated attacks are often more difficult to fend off.
18. Over a quarter of all companies would pay between $20,000 and $50,000 to hackers to recover their data
An IBM study suggests that most businesses are willing to pay up when under attack, especially when they store important, confidential data. The type of data that’s threatened can range from confidential customer data, financial records, business plans, and high-value intellectual property.
19. 67% of Indian organizations said they were victims of ransomware, and 38% faced this threat twice
The number of reports of ransomware in India is increasing. India is one of the six countries in the world most targeted by ransomware. As we saw earlier, hospitals are also common targets.
20. 60% of cryptocurrency transactions can be traced back to individuals
As recent studies have shown, cryptocurrencies aren’t nearly as anonymous as they used to be. Obscuring your purchases or your transaction activities is becoming more and more difficult, especially with Bitcoin. More and more people are considering Monero or Zcash. But how does a ransomware attack work, then? Even with this high transparency, a significant percentage of cybercrimes manage to go unpunished.
21. 95% of ransomware profits went through the cryptocurrency trading platform BTC-e
This cryptocurrency trading platform was founded in 2011, and it was then seized by the US government in 2017. This stat covers the period from 2014 to 2017.
Recent Ransomware Attacks
22. $400,000 was paid by Jackson County, Georgia, after a ransomware attack in 2019
This latest ransomware attack locked the sheriff’s office and numerous agencies out of their systems. Right after paying the ransom, everyone successfully gained access to their data. The decision to pay up after this new ransomware attack in 2019 might be for fear of severe losses suffered by the city of Atlanta—proof once more that towns and cities are profitable targets.
23. $51,000: the unpaid ransomware demand for the city of Atlanta, GA; $17 million: the recovery costs
In March 2018, the SamSam ransomware attacked Atlanta’s infrastructure. Many essential functions were affected, including citizens’ abilities to pay water bills and parking tickets. The money the attackers demanded was way above the average ransomware demand. The recovery costs, as you can see, exceeded the ransom by far. So, if you want a simple answer to the question, “Does paying ransomware work?” think about your priorities—public safety should be high up on the list, because paying the ransom only breeds more crime. Atlanta spent over $5 million on rebuilding their computer network and $3 million on crisis managers and emergency consultants.
24. The total damages from NotPetya, a worldwide ransomware attack that wreaked havoc in 2017, were $10 billion
The White House estimated the global damages. Once released, this malware raced through Ukraine and infected various machines all over the world. Various institutions were affected, from healthcare institutions in Pennsylvania to a chocolate factory in Tasmania.
25. The international shipping company FedEx suffered $400 million in damages from NotPetya attacks
It took the Ukrainian company around three months to fully restore itself after the file-scrambling mess that ravaged its networks. Ukrainian companies were among the first to state they were under attack and suffering the effects of ransomware.
26. French construction company Saint-Gobain’s losses to NotPetya’s attack were $384,000,000
The attack cost one of Europe’s most prolific building supply companies 1% of their first-half sales. In 2016, Saint-Gobain made €39.1 billion in sales, which means the company probably lost around €200 million in turnover in this global ransomware attack.
27. Pharmaceutical company Merck lost $870,000,000 after the NotPetya attack
Millions of dollars are lost through technology cleanup, lost sales, and disrupted business. Merck CFO Robert Davis stated that NotPetya had “negatively impacted third-quarter results, including an unfavorable revenue impact of approximately $135 million from lost sales and approximately $175 million in costs, spread across the cost of goods sold and the operating expense lines.”
28. As far as WannaCry statistics go, $255 million was the cost for TSMC, a chipmaker company, due to WannaCry’s ransomware
Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC), an Apple iPhone supplier, was temporarily shut down in August of 2018 after the virus spread to 10,000 of their machines. This was one of the worst recent attacks.
29. A Massachusetts school district paid $10,000 in Bitcoin after a ransomware attack in April 2018
Against the FBI’s advice, the school district decided to pay the ransomware attackers and got most of their computers back. The complete lack of offsite backup was one of the main reasons.
Ransomware Stats 2018–2019
30. Ransomware is behind 56% of malware attacks
Out of 1,379 malware incidents, the above-mentioned percentage is the majority. A malware attack is still a popular way to dump ransom malware onto a target’s computer.
31. Barracuda found that 47% of businesses in the US have been affected by ransomware
This is what we know from the most recent 2019 studies of ransomware attacks in the USA. Out of these infections, 59% of the ransomware was delivered via phishing emails. Phishing and ransomware are a match made in heaven.
32. The number of mobile miners has increased by almost 44.5% from 2016–2017 to 2017–2018
According to a Kaspersky ransomware report, ransomware is decreasing in popularity. Malicious cryptocurrency miners are capitalizing on the power of other people’s hijacked computers and devices without their knowledge. The amount, which used to be over 1,800,000, reached over 2,700,000 in 2018.
33. The number of ransomware Mac OS/iOS attacks surged by 500%
During the first half of 2018, according to Datto’s Global State of the Channel Ransomware Report, ransomware iOS and Mac attacks saw an insane increase, proving that safety is an issue, even for Apple devices.
34. The number of users plagued by ransomware dropped by almost 30% in 2018
The number of ransomware victims worldwide was 2,581,026 from 2016 to 2017. This significant decrease is definitely a sign that ransomware is becoming less popular as a type of cybercrime, but it’s unclear whether this is happening because the targeting has simply gotten more sophisticated.
In 2018, we saw a shift from the usual ransomware techniques. The preferred victims are now companies, and not consumers., meaning that current ransomware attacks are becoming more targeted, and they require more research and strategic planning. All industries were susceptible to attacks, especially the healthcare, gaming, and retail sectors.
The ShadowBrokers’ leak of NSA exploits in 2017 is still causing severe damage. Criminals used SMB vulnerabilities to infect devices with TrickBot and Emotet, hazardous and impactful types of Trojans. Compared to 2016 and 2017, ransomware statistics have dropped, but this is likely due to the change of pace and strategy.
The severe damages companies suffer in the downtime, along with the data theft and missed business opportunities, make reporting this type of cybercrime a challenge. Still, paying the ransom will likely make your business more vulnerable to future attacks. It also encourages the continued global growth of ransomware as a criminal act.