In the last three months there has been a 3500 per cent increase in the number of domains containing ransomware, reports network control company Infoblox.
The company compiles a quarterly report on the malicious activity regarding domain names and found that Q1 2016 has set a record high.
Rod Rasmussen, vice president of cybersecurity at Infoblox, “There has been a seismic shift in the ransomware threat, expanding from a few actors pulling off limited, small-dollar heists targeting consumers to industrial-scale, big-money attacks on all sizes."
In 2015 it was estimated that CryptoWall, one of the most dangerous ransomware campaigns ever launched, caused global damages of a over $300 million.
Ransomware affects thousands of people globally but it can also be used to target high profile victims including companies and public organisations.
In January Lincolnshire County Council was hit with ransomware and then just a month later Hollywood Presbyterian Medical centre was also hit eventually costing the hospital $17,000 in bitcoin just to recover its files.
Over half of ransomware that's detected is essentially packaged and sold as an 'Exploit Kit'. These kits can be bought by criminals and then targeted at victims having been already built and prepared.
What is ransomware and how much will it cost you?
Ransomware is a powerful piece of software which is usually hidden inside attachments in emails.
The victim then opens the attachment and the software is then installed onto the computer in the background.
Once installed ransomware usually then encrypts either the entire computer or certain parts of it removing access to the victim. It’ll then demand a monetary fee to have the information unlocked. The BBC reports that Locky is demanding for 3 Bitcoins (£885) as payment.
So why are ransomware attacks growing? David Gibson, VP of strategy and market development at Varonis has an explanation saying:
“Ransomware attacks grow more common because they’re effective and lucrative. They’re effective because it’s relatively easy to trick someone into downloading malware via phishing , and once a user launches a piece of ransomware it often won’t be detected (until it’s too late).”