Over the past five years, there has been an unmistakable shift in the ransomware landscape.
No longer are scattered gangs of disorganized actors carrying out mass ransomware campaigns, simply trying to infect as many computers as possible and extorting relatively small amounts of money from users to get their encrypted data back.
We’ve entered the era of so-called “Big-Game Hunting”: high-profile, fully-fledged ransomware businesses targeting large organizations with sophisticated, planned attacks aimed at extorting huge sums, sometimes with highly destructive, real-world consequences. These criminals often deploy new ransomware written in “cross-platform” programming languages, able to flexibly adapt at scale to the different combinations of architectures and operating systems of complex organizations. And they’re employing a new tactic known as “double extortion”: threatening to publicly release stolen, sensitive data if the victims don’t pay up.