Network Criminals - «Cyber ​​Extortion Probably Won't Decline in the Future» - News

Gas pipeline disruptions or trade secret concerns: Cyber ​​extortion is on the rise. It is considered one of the most dangerous hacker attacks, especially for companies.

It is more and more common for criminals to hack computer systems, encrypt data and extort money for decryption. Reports of such attacks in Germany have increased sevenfold in the past year. In Switzerland, too, the number of reports has doubled.


A situation that happens more and more often: I start my computer in the morning and the first thing that pops up is a message: Your data has been encrypted.


Pascal Lamia, the federal government’s chief of operational cybersecurity, fears a further increase in such attacks. In general, such attacks always take place in waves. But I think cybercriminals really see their business model in such attacks. I assume ransomware attacks will not decrease in the future.”

Hackers are having a harder time than they used to be

Ransomware is the software that hackers use to encrypt data. Companies are increasingly becoming the focus of these attacks. In the past, hackers tended to target electronic bank accounts of individuals. In the meantime, banks have been modernized, security has been increased and operating systems have been improved, Lamia says.

Residents were also told not to simply click on every email. This makes it more difficult for an attacker to carry out a cyber banking attack.

“There are still too many unprotected systems around the world. Attackers attack such systems and then extort the company,” says Pascal Lamia. Extortion attacks make good money, especially in companies. Attackers want as little effort as possible to get as much money as possible. Money. It is profitable to attack companies.”

Attackers want as little effort as possible in order to get as much money as possible. It is profitable to attack companies.

The effort to attack is particularly low as companies do not regularly maintain and protect their data and systems. Attackers scan the entire Internet for vulnerable servers and IT systems. “When you find such systems, find out who is behind them: a small and medium-sized company or even larger. Especially with large companies, it makes perfect sense to attack them, because there is money there,” the cyber expert explains.

Hackers tailor ransom requests to victims, cybersecurity expert Lamia notes. To do this, for example, they will look at annual numbers and sales. A small company with a small turnover may only have to pay a few thousand francs. In the case of larger companies, on the other hand, this can fall into the six or even seven-digit range.”

A large number of unreported cases when it comes to harm

It is difficult to say how much damage these ransomware attacks can cause. Also because many of those affected are not posting attacks for image reasons. However, various internet expert estimates assume a global loss of tens of billions over last year.

The money extorted is only a small part. Most financial damage occurs when attacks render machines unusable, factories shut down and business interruptions occur. Something has increased significantly in the past year, so the damage from ransomware attacks is also trending sharply to the top.

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