Over 37,000 dual ransomware attacks on Tet holiday, 83,000 people fell victim, urgent warning from experts

According to cybersecurity experts, dual ransomware is a form of attack that is highly "terrorizing" to its victims. The victims are forced to pay a ransom in order to "redeem" their data decryption key.


Mr. Vu Ngoc Son, CTO of NCS, said: “In just the past 2 weeks, a series of double extortion ransomware attacks have occurred consecutively. This is likely to be the main trend of data attacks in 2024. The latest victims of this type of attack are Schneider Electric, the Kansas City Public Transportation Agency, the British Library, and ESO Solutions.”

Mr. Son further explained that double extortion ransomware is a “terrorist” form of attack on victims. Firstly, the victim’s computer systems will be paralyzed as all data becomes inaccessible due to encryption. The victims are forced to pay a ransom in order to decrypt their data. Then, hackers can sell this data on the black market, posing a risk of data leakage, including potentially sensitive information that could affect the victims’ business and production operations.

Illustration of the double extortion ransomware attack process.

The cybersecurity expert stated that, although no official record of any similar cases with double extortion ransomware has been reported in Vietnam recently, Mr. Son advised that system administrators should be extremely vigilant because the pre-Tet period is always a favorite time for hackers.

This is a time when systems will be “idle” for an extended period, and administrators will not be continuously present like on normal days. If attacked, it will be difficult to detect, and incident response times will be longer due to the inability to rapidly mobilize resources as usual.

Mr. Son referred to a report by NCS, which recorded many serious consequences of ransomware attacks on data encryption in 2023. It was found that 83,000 computers and servers were attacked by data encryption malware, an increase of 8.4% compared to 2022. Especially in the fourth quarter of 2023, the number of data encryption attacks increased significantly, exceeding 23% compared to the average of the first three quarters. During this time, some critical facilities were also attacked by data encryption malware. The number of malware variants found in 2023 was 37,500, an increase of 5.7% compared to 2022.

Prior to this, the Information Security Bureau also issued a warning related to increasingly sophisticated fraud and bank account theft. According to the Information Security Bureau, recently, incidents involving fraud and theft of assets in cyberspace have become extremely complex with new methods and schemes, particularly around the Lunar New Year 2024.

Some familiar fraud methods over the years, such as impersonating investigative agencies and impersonating relatives, lead victims to follow instructions to transfer money to the accounts of criminals. However, during the Lunar New Year, the number of victims losing money still increases.

Despite numerous warnings, these fraud tactics, although not new, continue to deceive and cause financial losses to many victims. The main reason is the sophisticated scripts of the scammers, overwhelming victims with information and manipulating their psychology.

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