India, China among the most targeted regions for Ransomware 2.0 attacks in 2020: Kaspersky

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The threat of ransomware has evolved and become more serious in nature during pandemic times. Last year, at least 61 organizations from the Asia Pacific (APAC) region had fallen prey to ransomware 2.0, according to experts from global cybersecurity firm, Kaspersky. The company says the emergence of this new variant referred to as ransomware 2.0, poses threats that go beyond keeping a company or organization’s data hostage.

Ransomware 2.0 basically refers to those ransomware families that have moved from data hostage to data exfiltration, coupled with extortion. This is causing significant monetary loss and reputational damage to organisations. There are two popular ransomware groups that are targeting users in the APAC region and these include REvil and JSWorm.

Last year, out of 1,764 victims, around 635 were from the APAC region, as per Alexey Shulmin, Chief Malware Analyst of Kaspersky. In this region, Vietnam, mainland China, and India were the top most targeted countries. Globally, Brazil was the most affected, followed by Vietnam, South Africa, China, and India.

Kaspersky discovered that the number of JSWorm cases was lesser than REvil, but it is also gaining ground in the APAC region. The cybersecurity firm claims that its solutions have blocked attempts against 230 users globally, which is a significant increase from 27 users in 2019.

Shulmin also revealed the number of industrial sectors that were highly targeted last year. Based on the data shared by Kaspersky, 30 percent of the Engineering and Manufacturing sector was most affected. The list also included Finance (14 percent) and Professional and Consumer Services (14 percent). Apart from these, the Legal, IT, and Telecommunication sectors, and Food and Beverage industries were also attacked (7 percent).

To stay safe from Ransomware 2.0, Kaspersky advises enterprises and organizations to keep their OS and software patched and up to date. Firms can also carry out a security assessment on their network and use secure technologies for remote connection.

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