Ransomware attacks are the biggest global cyber threat and still evolving, warns cybersecurity chief

Ransomware is the biggest cybersecurity threat facing the world today, with the potential to significantly affect whole societies and economies – and the attacks are unrelenting, the head of the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) has warned. 

“Even with a war raging in Ukraine – the biggest global cyber threat we still face is ransomware. That tells you something of the scale of the problem. Ransomware attacks strike hard and fast. They are evolving rapidly, they are all-pervasive, they’re increasingly offered by gangs as a service, lowering the bar for entry into cyber crime,” said Lindy Cameron, CEO of the NCSC In a speech at Tel Aviv Cyber Week. 

She added that the NCSC has dealt with “nationally significant incidents” along with hundreds of general cyber incidents that “affect the UK more widely every year”. 

SEE: Cybersecurity: Let’s get tactical (ZDNet special report)

While she didn’t detail any specific instances of responding to ransomware incidents, Cameron warned that “these complex attacks have the potential to affect our societies and economies significantly”, and implied that if it weren’t for the work of NCSC incident responders, alongside their counterparts in the industry and international counterparts, the attacks could have had a major impact.

Working alongside other law enforcement agencies, Cameron said that the NCSC is working to understand the criminal system that helps drive ransomware attacks – and how the nature of ransomware gangs and the techniques they’re using to facilitate ransomware campaigns continue

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