KCAL-TV reports that California accounted for 260 of almost 4,200 ransomware victims between 2020 and 2021, making it the most ransomware-hit state across the US, according to an Abnormal Security report.
"To put that into perspective, if California was its own country, globally it would rank second in the world behind only the United States," said Abnormal Security Director of Threat Intelligence Crane Hassold.
The report comes after a ransomware attack last summer at Barlow Respiratory Hospital, which took down some of its computer systems and adversely affected care for critical patients, including those with complications from COVID-19.
"It was very disruptive, very difficult and we are glad we got through it," said Barlow Respiratory Hospital Director of Public Relations Julia Robinson Shimizu, who added that enhanced cybersecurity measures have already been implemented at the hospital since the attack.
Ransomware actors have also launched attacks against the Asuza Police Department and the City of Torrance last spring, both of which are still being investigated.
Increasingly prevalent remote desktop protocol threats, ransomware incidents, business email compromise attacks, and phishing campaigns have triggered an increase in cyber insurance claims and insurance costs for companies, reports The Record, a news site by cybersecurity firm Recorded Future.