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India, China among the most targeted regions for Ransomware 2.0 attacks in 2020: Kaspersky

Kaspersky says the emergence of this new variant referred to as ransomware 2.0, poses threats that go beyond keeping a company or organisation's data hostage.

Ransomware 2.0: China and India were the top most targeted countries in 2020

The threat of ransomware has become more serious in nature during the Covid-19 pandemic. At least 61 organisations from the Asia Pacific (APAC) region had fallen prey to ransomware 2.0, according to experts at global cybersecurity firm, Kaspersky.

The company says the emergence of this new variant referred to as ransomware 2.0, poses threats that go beyond keeping a company or organisation’s data hostage.

Ransomware 2.0 basically refers to those ransomware families that have moved from data hostage to data exfiltration, coupled with extortion. This is causing significant monetary loss and reputation damage to organisations. Two popular ransomware groups targeting users in the APAC region are REvil and JSWorm, according to Kaspersky.

Last year, out of 1,764 victims, around 635 were from the APAC region, as per Alexey Shulmin, Chief Malware Analyst of Kaspersky. In this region, Vietnam, mainland China, and India were the top most targeted countries. Globally, Brazil was the most affected, followed by Vietnam, South Africa, China, and India.

Kaspersky discovered that the number of JSWorm cases was lower than REvil, but it is also gaining ground in the APAC region.

Based on the data shared by Kaspersky, 30 percent of the attacks impacted engineering and manufacturing sector, which was the most affected. The list also included Finance (14 percent) and Professional and Consumer Services (14 percent). Apart from these, the Legal, IT, and Telecommunication sectors, and Food and Beverage industries were also attacked (7 percent).

To stay safe from Ransomware 2.0, Kaspersky advises enterprises and organisations to keep their operating systems and software patched and up to date. Firms can also carry out a security assessment on their network and use secure technologies for remote connection.

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