The volume of ransomware attacks in 2017 increased dramatically, but almost all of this growth was due to the appearance of WannaCry, a new report states.
F-Secure’s The Changing State of Ransomware report found the volume of ransomware attacks increased 400 percent last year with 90 percent of the reported incidents being the ransomware/worm WannaCry. After WannaCry’s initial appearance in May 2017 the use of other ransomware types fell off to near zero by the end of the year.
“After the summer, there was a noticeable shift away from the kind of ransomware activity that we’ve seen in the last year or two,” said F-Secure Security Advisor Sean Sullivan. “The last couple of years saw cybercriminals developing lots of new kinds of ransomware, but that activity tapered off after last summer. So it looks like the ransomware gold rush mentality is over, but we already see hard-core extortionists continuing to use ransomware, particularly against organizations because WannaCry showed everyone how vulnerable companies are.”
Despite WannaCry’s dominance, F-Secure said 343 unique types of ransomware were uncovered last year, up 62 percent from 2016, mostly before WannaCry’s appearance.