INTERPOL Declares “Anti-Ransomware Day”

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International crime-fighting organization INTERPOL has teamed up with cybersecurity firm Kaspersky to declare WannaCry's third anniversary "Anti-Ransomware Day."

WannaCry, notorious as the largest ransomware epidemic in history, reached its peak on May 12, 2017. Recent research by Kaspersky confirms that three years on, WannaCry retains the dubious honor of being among the most prevalent ransomware families causing trouble around the world.

To raise awareness of this ongoing threat, both INTERPOL and Kaspersky have dubbed today Anti-Ransomware Day and urged organizations to back up their data and adopt relevant security protections. 

Failing to take all possible steps to secure a business against a ransomware attack can be a very expensive mistake. According to research published by Kaspersky in October 2019, organizations hit with ransomware attacks last year lost on average $1.46m.

The costs associated with a ransomware attack go beyond the ransom amount demanded by the cyber-criminal(s). Companies that fall victim to this crime can incur financial losses for downtime and reputational damage and incur additional costs for data recovery and fines. 

Kaspersky researchers found a total of 767,907 users were attacked by encryptors in 2019, with almost a third of them (30%) found in businesses. WannaCry was still the most common of all the encryption families, attacking 164,433 users and accounting for 21% of all detected attacks in 2019. 

Other prevalent encryptors used in 2019 include GandCrab, wielded in 11% of attacks, and Stop, deployed in 4%.

"The WannaCry epidemic, which saw companies lose millions in revenue because of downtime or costs related to reputational damage, demonstrated what can happen if ransomware happens on such a large scale,” said Sergey Martsynkyan, head of B2B product marketing at Kaspersky. 

“The threat remains relevant today, as there will be users out there who still may not know much about it and can become a victim. The good news is that the right security approach and relevant measures can make ransomware yet another non-critical threat." 

By supporting Anti-Ransomware Day, Craig Jones, director, INTERPOL Cybercrime Directorate, said the organization wished to encourage the public "to keep good cyber hygiene and to #WashYourCyberHands.”

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