The inability to access the important data these kinds of organizations keep can be catastrophic in terms of the loss of sensitive or proprietary information, the disruption to regular operations, financial losses incurred to restore systems and files, and the potential harm to an organization’s reputation.
Home computers are just as susceptible to ransomware and the loss of access to personal and often irreplaceable items— including family photos, videos, and other data—can be devastating for individuals as well.
For more information on the FBI's cyber security efforts, read our "Addressing Threats to the Nation’s Cybersecurity" brochure. Billions of dollars are lost every year repairing systems hit by such attacks.
Paying a ransom doesn’t guarantee an organization that it will get its data back—there have been cases where organizations never got a decryption key after having paid the ransom.Information is analyzed and disseminated for investigative and intelligence purposes to law enforcement and for public awareness.Visit the IC3's website for more information, including IC3 annual reports.Several years ago, ransomware was normally delivered through spam e-mails, but because e-mail systems got better at filtering out spam, cyber criminals turned to spear phishing e-mails targeting specific individuals.And in newer instances of ransomware, some cyber criminals aren’t using e-mails at all—they can bypass the need for an individual to click on a link by seeding legitimate websites with malicious code, taking advantage of unpatched software on end-user computers.