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Ransomware Payments, Demands Rose Dramatically in 2021

New data pulled from incident response cases by Unit 42 shows cyber-extortion attacks jumped by 85%.

Ransomware attackers demanded dramatically higher ransom fees last year, and the average ransom payment rose by 78% to 541,010, according to data from incident response (IR) cases investigated by Palo Alto Networks Unit 42.

IR cases by Unit 42 also saw a whopping 144% increase in ransom demands, to $2.2 million. According to the report, the most victimized sectors were professional and legal services, construction, wholesale and retail, healthcare, and manufacturing.

Cyber extortion spiked, with 85% of ransomware victims — some 2, 556 organizations — having their data dumped and exposed on leak sites, according to the "2022 Unit 42 Ransomware Threat Report." 

Conti led the ransomware attack volume, representing some one in five cases Unit 42 investigated, followed by REvil, Hello Kitty, and Phobos.