Canada’s Northwest Territories Power Corporation (NTPC) is believed to have become a victim of ransomware attack recently, triggering the authorities to shut down their email systems and some essential services to contain the incident and neutralize the repercussions.
Noel Boykin, the President & CEO of NTPC confirmed the incident and added that government entities, financial institutes, and power utilities are becoming soft targets of those spreading ransomware
NTPC is working closely with a cybersecurity agency and law enforcement to investigate the culprits behind the attack. And a source on the condition of anonymity has not ruled out the possibility that it could be a state-sponsored attack.
In another finding related to ransomware, US Security Exchange Commission (SEC) has officially disclosed that several companies are now listing ransomware as a risk factor in their yearly filings.
According to an update on the website, more than 1,120 companies have listed the file-encrypting malware as a risk factor in their filing in the past 12 months followed by 700 in 2020 alone- which might easily surpass the 2019 estimate.
Some of the companies which included ransomware in their SEC filings as a major cyber threat include McDonald’s Tupperware, Pluralsight, American Airlines, and Alphabet- the parent company of Google.
Coming to the third ransomware news headline trending on Google, a ransomware incident report from Coveware says that on an average the ransom demanded by hackers has reached $111,605 in the first quarter of this year with Sodinikibi and Ryuk being largely responsible for 33% of average payments.
Coverware reports also highlight the fact that out of the 1000 ransomware cases it worked on the 1Q of the year 2020 more than 8.7% proved to be of the data-stealing genre as a hacker was seen threatening the victimized firms of making the stolen files public if they fail to meet their demands on time.
While it was found that the year 2019 witnessed 76% of cases related to Maze ransomware, Coveware found that other gangs such as CLOP, Nephilim, Sekhmet, Sodinikibi, DopplePaymer and Mespinoza along with Netwalker were also active on data exfiltration schemes targeting mainly healthcare providers, government entities such as municipalities and multinational manufacturing companies.