Endpoint

12/8/2016
08:00 AM
Connect Directly
Twitter
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

Las Vegas, Rust Belt, Hit Hardest By Ransomware

New study by Malwarebytes finds that the US has the most ransomware incidents worldwide.

Turns out you're most likely to get shaken down by ransomware in the Las Vegas/Henderson area, which in the US has the largest number of overall ransomware detections, the most detections per individual machine, and the most detections per population, according to a new study by Malwarebytes.

Six of the top 10 cities for ransomware detections are in the Rust Belt, including Buffalo, Cleveland, Columbus, Ohio, Detroit, Fort Wayne, Ind., and Toledo. 

Nima Samadi, data science analyst for Malwarebytes, says the study is based on research from July 1 through October 15, 2016. Malwarebytes detected more than 400,000 ransomware incidents in more than 200 countries, with the US experiencing the largest number of incidents - at 26% overall. Malwarebytes' data is specifically based on detected ransomware incidents, some of which may have resulted in actual infections and others, not.

"We can theorize on way the Las Vegas area was such a hotbed for ransomware," says Samadi. "Even if they are on business, people tend to be in vacation mode, so their guard is let down, plus they are accessing the Internet on unsecured Wi-Fi networks."

Malwarebytes CEO Marcin Kleczynski says that computer users in Rust Belt states may not be as readily exposed to security education and techniques, plus those states have been hit hard by job losses and the collapse of the manufacturing base.

"People without jobs or opportunities are more prone to financial scams," he adds.

Kleczynski also points out that while high-profile cases such as last week's ransomware attack on the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency make the news, the more prevalent threat is from scammers sending out indiscriminate email blasts. The high-profile cases tend to be in big cities, but the Malwarebytes study found that 86% of detections occurred in cities with fewer than 250,000 residents.

"Think of the economics: it only costs a couple of dollars to send out an email blast, but if they get one hit, the return on investment could be $500 or more," Kleczynski says. "At least at this point, the ransomware scammers would rather take their chances with a random email blast to see what they get versus a targeted attack."

According to the study, Cerber, Locky, and CryptoWall were the three most commonly detected ransomware families. While Cerber had the lead earlier this year, Locky took the top spot in the end.

Locky, which was released in February of this year, has risen to become one of the most prolific ransomware attacks of this year, the study says. The rapid increase of Locky’s global footprint so soon after it was released makes it especially scary. On day one of its detection, Locky had already spread to 18 countries. By day two, Locky was in 61 countries, and by day three, 85 countries. After the first month, Locky had spread to 161 countries and right now, Locky has been detected in nearly 200 different countries.

Here's a look at the top 10 locations for ransomware, according to Malwarebytes:

Top 10 Countries for Ransomware Detections 

  1. United States
  2. Germany
  3. France
  4. Italy
  5. United Kingdom
  6. Australia
  7. Spain
  8. Austria
  9. India
  10. Canada

 Top 10 US Cities for Ransomware Detections

  1. Las Vegas/Henderson, Nev.
  2. Memphis, Tenn.
  3. Stockton, Calif.
  4. Detroit, Mich.
  5. Toledo, Ohio
  6. Cleveland, Ohio
  7. Columbus, Ohio
  8. Buffalo, N.Y.
  9. San Antonio, Texas
  10. Fort Wayne, Ind. 

Source: Malwarebytes

 

Related Content:

Steve Zurier has more than 30 years of journalism and publishing experience, most of the last 24 of which were spent covering networking and security technology. Steve is based in Columbia, Md. View Full Bio

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
5 Reasons the Cybersecurity Labor Shortfall Won't End Soon
Steve Morgan, Founder & CEO, Cybersecurity Ventures,  12/11/2017
BlueBorne Attack Highlights Flaws in Linux, IoT Security
Kelly Sheridan, Associate Editor, Dark Reading,  12/14/2017
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon Contest
Current Issue
The Year in Security: 2017
A look at the biggest news stories (so far) of 2017 that shaped the cybersecurity landscape -- from Russian hacking, ransomware's coming-out party, and voting machine vulnerabilities to the massive data breach of credit-monitoring firm Equifax.
Flash Poll
[Strategic Security Report] How Enterprises Are Attacking the IT Security Problem
[Strategic Security Report] How Enterprises Are Attacking the IT Security Problem
Enterprises are spending more of their IT budgets on cybersecurity technology. How do your organization's security plans and strategies compare to what others are doing? Here's an in-depth look.
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2017-0290
Published: 2017-05-09
NScript in mpengine in Microsoft Malware Protection Engine with Engine Version before 1.1.13704.0, as used in Windows Defender and other products, allows remote attackers to execute arbitrary code or cause a denial of service (type confusion and application crash) via crafted JavaScript code within ...

CVE-2016-10369
Published: 2017-05-08
unixsocket.c in lxterminal through 0.3.0 insecurely uses /tmp for a socket file, allowing a local user to cause a denial of service (preventing terminal launch), or possibly have other impact (bypassing terminal access control).

CVE-2016-8202
Published: 2017-05-08
A privilege escalation vulnerability in Brocade Fibre Channel SAN products running Brocade Fabric OS (FOS) releases earlier than v7.4.1d and v8.0.1b could allow an authenticated attacker to elevate the privileges of user accounts accessing the system via command line interface. With affected version...

CVE-2016-8209
Published: 2017-05-08
Improper checks for unusual or exceptional conditions in Brocade NetIron 05.8.00 and later releases up to and including 06.1.00, when the Management Module is continuously scanned on port 22, may allow attackers to cause a denial of service (crash and reload) of the management module.

CVE-2017-0890
Published: 2017-05-08
Nextcloud Server before 11.0.3 is vulnerable to an inadequate escaping leading to a XSS vulnerability in the search module. To be exploitable a user has to write or paste malicious content into the search dialogue.