Financial Sector Ransomware Attacks Outside the United States on the Rise

June 4, 2020 • Allan Liska

Ransomware threat actors have always targeted the financial sector because, much like the famous Willie Sutton quote, “that is where the money is.” Banks and other financial institutions in the United States quickly caught on to this and have implemented security infrastructure designed to protect against ransomware attacks. Because of these protections, publicly reported ransomware attacks against banking and other financial institutions in the United States have slowed to a trickle.

On the other hand, there has been a notable rise in ransomware attacks against financial institutions in the rest of the world, especially over the last few months, as shown in the image below. Ransomware threat actors have realized that there are a lot of vulnerable financial institutions overseas, and they seem to be focusing their attacks against those institutions.

Recorded Future Timeline

Ransomware attacks against financial institutions outside the United States.

Recorded Future catalogued more than 200 publicly reported ransomware attacks against banking and financial institutions outside of the United States between April 2019 and April 2020. During the same period, there were just over 40 publicly reported ransomware attacks against financial institutions in the United States.

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