Hackers Extort Less Money, Are Laid Off as New Tactics Thwart More Ransomware Attacks

Robert McMillan, Dustin Volz, and Aruna Viswanatha report:

Extortion payments from ransomware, a hacking scourge that has crippled hospitals, schools and public infrastructure, fell significantly last year, according to federal officials, cybersecurity analysts and blockchain firms.

One of the examples cited surprised me, as I had no idea a Conti call center had so many employees:

In the fall, about 45 call-center operators were laid off by former members of a ransomware group known as Conti, according to Yelisey Bohuslavskiy, chief research officer with the threat intelligence firm Red Sense LLC.

They had been hired as part of a scam to talk potential victims into installing remote-access software onto networks that would then be infected by ransomware, but the call centers ended up losing money, he said.

Read more at WSJ.  But if fewer victims were paying and were paying less, and if threat actors look for surer bets, will the attacks on the healthcare sector actually increase? The article doesn’t specifically mention that sector.

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