(HorizonPost.com) – In its most basic terms, a ransomware attack, like the one on the Colonial Pipeline in May 2021, is where hackers take control of an entity’s computer systems and demand payment to return control and not leak private data. An international group of cybercops, including investigators from the FBI in America and agencies in Europe and Ukraine, arrested two people suspected of extorting as much as €70 million (over $80 million USD), perhaps more, in these schemes.
International coalition arrests '"prolific" hackers involved in ransomware attacks https://t.co/oNH3vjoTV7 pic.twitter.com/KecvNkJRbx
— The Hill (@thehill) October 4, 2021
Reports indicate they also confiscated boxes with approximately $375,000 in US bills. In addition, they froze another $1.3 million in cryptocurrency and other property alleged to belong to the criminals. Authorities believe the suspects are part of an unnamed gang involved in committing cyberattacks against more than 100 since April 2020.
The Ukraine National Police say the attacks against these companies cost them an additional $150 million+ in damages. In June, another international coalition operating in Ukraine took down the Clop ransomware gang, suspected of operations costing its victims $500 million since at least 2019.
According to a May 2021 blog post on the United Kingdom branch of cyber security firm IT Governance, the ransomware industry generates about £10 billion ($13 billion+ USD) for criminals per year. Corporations, schools, hospitals, and even governments are often the targets of these extortion plots.
Although these massive computer hostage situations are the ones that make headlines and could be considered grand larceny, cybercrime at all levels has increased, targeting individuals for $100 or $200 at a time.
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