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REvil, DarkSide behind spike in ransomware attacks

The malicious cyber actors have contributed to a 64 per cent surge in ransomware activity over the past 12 months.

user icon Charbel Kadib
Mon, 16 Aug 2021
REvil, DarkSide behind spike in ransomware attacks
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Cloud-based cyber security company Barracuda has published its third annual threat research report on ransomware activity, examining patterns and incidents from August 2020 to July 2021.

The research identified a “dramatic” increase in the number of attacks, up 64 per cent year-on-year.

Criminals continue to target municipalities, health care facilities, and education, however, Barracuda observed a rise in attacks on corporations (infrastructure, travel, financial services), which made up 57 per cent of all ransomware incidents over the 12-month period, up from just 18 per cent in the previous reporting period.


Infrastructure-related businesses accounted for 10 per cent of attacks, with breaches of software supply chains increasingly prevalent.

Cyber criminals are also demanding a higher ransom, with just 8 per cent demanding less than US$10 million, and 14 per cent requesting over US$30 million.

US organisations bore the brunt in the spike in ransomware activity (44 per cent), followed by Europe, the Middle East, and Africa (30 per cent), the Asia-Pacific (11 per cent), South America (10 per cent), and Canada and Mexico (8 per cent).

Cyber crime organisations REvil and DarkSide contributed to the overall spike, perpetrating 10 per cent and 8 per cent of attacks, respectively.

The research from Barracuda comes just a week after the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s (ACCC) released its latest Scamwatch figures.

The ACCC data found that Australians lost a combined $27.1 million to scams in July 2021, up 120 per cent when compared with the same month last year.

Over 26,700 scams were reported in July, an 11 per cent increase on the previous month and an increase of 44 per cent on the previous corresponding period.

Since the start of 2021, Australians have shed over $166.2 million to scams, down just 4 per cent on the full 12 months ending 31 December 2020 ($173.3 million).

[Related: Scam losses double amid COVID lockdown]

Charbel Kadib

Charbel Kadib

News Editor – Defence and Security, Momentum Media

Prior to joining the defence and aerospace team in 2020, Charbel was news editor of The Adviser and Mortgage Business, where he covered developments in the banking and financial services sector for three years. Charbel has a keen interest in geopolitics and international relations, graduating from the University of Notre Dame with a double major in politics and journalism. Charbel has also completed internships with The Australian Department of Communications and the Arts and public relations agency Fifty Acres

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