Major Organizations Hit by Ransomware in the U.S.
Ransomware is a type of malicious software that is designed to encrypt a victim's files and hold them hostage until a ransom is paid. It is a growing problem that has affected a wide range of organizations and individuals, and has caused significant disruption and financial loss.
Some of the major victims of ransomware attacks in recent years include:
- The City of Baltimore: In 2019, the city of Baltimore was hit by a ransomware attack that disrupted a wide range of municipal services, including the city's 911 emergency dispatch system. The attack was eventually traced to a group of hackers based in Iran, and the city was forced to pay a ransom of approximately $76,000 to regain access to its systems.
- The Colonial Pipeline: In May 2021, the Colonial Pipeline, which is the largest fuel pipeline in the United States, was hit by a ransomware attack that caused significant disruption to the U.S. fuel supply. The attack was carried out by a group of hackers known as DarkSide, and the company was forced to pay a ransom of approximately $4.4 million to regain access to its systems.
- The University of California, San Francisco: In 2020, the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) was hit by a ransomware attack that disrupted the university's computer systems and led to the theft of a large amount of personal data. The attack was eventually traced to a group of hackers based in China, and the university was forced to pay a ransom of approximately $1.14 million to regain access to its systems.
- The Maersk Group: In 2017, the Maersk Group, a global shipping and logistics company, was hit by a ransomware attack that disrupted the company's computer systems and led to significant financial losses. The attack was traced to a group of hackers known as Petya, and the company was forced to pay a ransom of approximately $300 million to regain access to its systems.
- The WannaCry attack: In 2017, a group of hackers launched a widespread ransomware attack known as WannaCry that affected more than 200,000 computers in over 150 countries. The attack disrupted a wide range of organizations, including hospitals, government agencies, and businesses, and resulted in significant financial losses.
Overall, these and other major ransomware attacks have had a significant impact on the victims and have demonstrated the growing threat that ransomware poses to organizations and individuals. To protect against ransomware and other types of cyber threats, it is important for organizations and individuals to use a combination of security measures such as antivirus software, firewalls, and backup systems.