How ransomware could cripple countries, not just companies

Featured in The Economist

Ransomware attacks


There are some indications that Western operations have also had a wider deterrent effect. Since the Colonial Pipeline episode in 2021, ransomware groups have tended to avoid high-profile targets liable to put them in the crosshairs of Western intelligence agencies. One consequence of that, according to Joseph Jarnecki and Jamie MacColl, both of the Royal United Services Institute, a think-tank in London, has been a growing number of attacks on softer targets in low- and middle-income countries, which have poorer defences and are less likely to strike back...Ransomware syndicates remain “well-resourced, adaptable and [are] growing bolder”, says Mr MacColl, despite all the disruptive efforts of the past three years. “I’m fairly confident in saying they’re still doing as much harm to UK national security as anything Russia, China, Iran or North Korea does in cyberspace.”