South Korea becomes largest ransomware victim last year

2020.02.07 12:47:09 | 2020.02.07 12:47:36

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South Korea was the biggest victim to ransomware attacks from infamous Russian hacker group GandCrab in the first half of last year, according to security sources.

Korean entities paid the largest random - 11 percent – to the hacking force, followed by China (7 percent), India (7 percent), Germany (7 percent) and the United States (6 percent).

Ransomware spread by hackers has become more common in the past few years and it widely affects businesses and the general public but the government has difficulty measuring the damage because ransomware victims do not report properly, said a local security company official on Thursday.

Sources say that ransomware attacked servers of two well-known Korean companies late last year, locking up their computer systems and databases. Both companies denied any ransomware damage, but hackers usually demand 1 to 10 bitcoins worth $97,000 to free up infected servers.

Large corporations and public institutions have emerged as major targets of ransomware attacks in recent years. Big companies have important systems and data, and their valuable brand name become a pawn for money negotiations for hackers. The problem is that Korea is recognized as an easy target due to repeated payments by victims.

By Shin Chan-ok and Minu Kim

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