It’s always gratifying to notice you could predict the future accurately. but when it comes to predict the growth of cybercrime, it is rather a mixed feeling. Nevertheless our prediction that the number of ransomware incidents would increase spectacularly turned out to be an understatement rather than an exaggeration.
The really spectacular growth could be witnessed in February: in this short month alone the number of ransomware infections exceeded the total number of ransomware incidents in the last six months of 2015 combined. It was also five times higher than one month earlier, January 2016.
A most remarkable detail: the growth of ransomware incidents was even higher than average in the Benelux countries. Normally, Benelux ransomware incidents account for 1 or 2% of the worldwide number. but in February this percentage rose to 6%.
Within the ransomware ‘hype’ we can also notice another striking evolution: the huge shift from ‘traditional’ to crypto-ransomware: in the earlier days cybercriminals merely blocked your access to the system, nowadays they rather target your data, by encrypting them and threatening to expose them if you don’t pay a ransom in bitcoins. This shift is even more spectacular: from just 4% of all ransomware early 2014, crypto-ransomware rose to 98% in the first two months of 2016. The graphs below further illustrate crypto-ransomware’s ‘rise to stardom’.
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