UK Firms Most Likely to Pay Ransomware Hackers


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Malware Hunter
Jul 27, 2015
Some 82% of British firms which have been victims of ransomware attacks paid the hackers in order to get back their data, a new report suggests.

The global average was 58%, making the UK the most likely country to pay cyber-criminals. Security firm Proofpoint's research also found that more than three-quarters of UK businesses were affected by ransomware in 2021. Phishing attacks remain the key way criminals access networks, it found. Phishing happens when someone in a firm is lured into clicking on a link in an email that contains malware, which in turn can help cyber-criminals access company networks. Ransomware attacks are so-called because the hackers encrypt vital data and demand a ransom in order to get the information decrypted.

Negotiating with cyber-criminals in this manner is discouraged by governments and industry, but that hasn't stopped some high-profile firms - including JBS Foods and Colonial Pipeline - paying up in order to get their systems working again.
"A staggering amount of UK businesses experienced a phishing attack in 2021 and 91% of those attacks were successful," said Adenike Cosgrove, cyber-security strategist at Proofpoint.