Security Market Segment LS
Monday, 22 March 2021 06:32

Microsoft's RDP attack vector of choice for ransomware groups in 2020 Featured

Microsoft's RDP attack vector of choice for ransomware groups in 2020 Pixabay

Microsoft's Remote Desktop Protocol tool was the attack vector of choice for ransomware attackers in 2020 as they stepped up as the pandemic created an environment suitable for this malware genre to thrive.

A report from New Zealand-headquartered security vendor Emsisoft said last year was another lucrative for those using ransomware to make money, with many COVID-themed attacks trying to take advantage of the public interest in the pandemic.

The report said 506,185 ransomware submissions - estimated to be only a quarter of the total attacks - were made to the company and the ID Ransomware service, the latter created by its researcher, Michael Gillespie. It enables people to find out which ransomware has hit them and also suggests a free decryptor if one is available.

The most common strain of ransomware reported during the year was STOP/Djvu which accounted for a shade more than 70% of submissions. STOP is claimed to have more than 160 confirmed variants.

  • STOP (Djvu): 71.20%
  • Phobos: 8.90%
  • Dharma (.cezar Family): 7.90%
  • REvil / Sodinokibi: 3.40%
  • LockBit: 1.90%
  • GlobeImposter 2.0: 1.70%
  • Magniber: 1.70%
  • Makop: 1.30%
  • Avaddon: 1.10%
  • Zeppelin: 1.00%

During 2020, one prominent group, Maze, shut down operations, while Microsoft announced in October 2020 that it had disrupted the ransomware distribution botnet Trickbot.

Among countries, India reported the most submissions, with 27.4%. Australia did not figure in the top 10. The highest number of submissions was made in April.

ransomware 2020 emsis

Emsisoft's data indicated that Asia was the most commonly targeted region.

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Sam Varghese

Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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