- Ransomware is expected to grow significantly in 2016, according to a new report from Intel Corp.’s McAfee Labs.
- McAfee says hackers are targeting more companies and using advanced software to compromise more types of data.
- 2015 has already seen huge growth in ransomware, the Wall Street Journal reported. McAfee researchers said they saw more than 4 million samples of ransomware in the second quarter of 2015, including 1.2 million that were new.
The report found that hackers are changing their focus to industries such as finance and local government, where the “ransom amounts would be significantly greater than those targeting consumers,” according to Christiaan Beek, director of threat intelligence and malware operations at McAfee Labs.
McAfee said it also expects to see the malware in more file extensions – including those commonly used by businesses – to grow as targets in 2016. More attacks may also stem from “ransomware as a service,” wherein an unscrupulous company provides malware kits to hackers for free and then takes a commission on successful attacks.
The report also says 2016 may see the growth of malware packages that could encrypt backed-up data as well.