Online retailers are the preferred targets for ransomware attacks worldwide

Online retailers are the preferred targets for ransomware attacks worldwide


The number of ransomware attacks on companies has increased worldwide in 2021. According to recent studies, trading companies are among the preferred targets of cyber extortionists. Almost half of all attacks hit a US company, one in five victims came from Europe. […]

According to companies from the industrial and energy sectors, retail companies were among the preferred targets of ransomware attacks worldwide in 2021. This is according to a report published by the US network specialist Atlas VPN, based on figures from the Israeli IT security specialist Cyberint.

Of the 2,845 attacks observed worldwide last year, 545 cyber attacks were directed against retail companies. Only the industrial and energy sector was affected a little worse with 599 attacks. Dramatic: There were also 121 attacks on health facilities that potentially put human lives at risk.

Germany is in the middle

Of the 2,845 ransomware attacks that have become known, almost half (1,352) were directed against targets in the USA. After that, nothing comes for a long time, the second-placed France brings it to “only” 146 recorded cases. Germany is significantly behind with 115 attacks, Japan is in last place with only 38 reported ransomware attacks.

The attacks on online retailers mainly focused on the business-critical times, such as shortly before Cyber Week or during the Christmas business. A collapse of the online store during this period is associated with particularly high sales losses for merchants, which increases the willingness to pay a ransom – according to the calculation of the perpetrators.

Ransomware attacks are based on malware that is injected into the victim’s systems and encrypts mission–critical data – making it unusable. At the same time, customer data is stolen from the victim’s servers. The company is then asked to pay a ransom to unlock the encrypted data. In some cases, however, this was only the beginning: the captured customer data was used to commit further criminal offences, for example identity theft.

*Frank Kemper joined the team in 2001 and headed the print edition of INTERNET WORLD BUSINESS from 2013 to 2020. The graduate of the German School of Journalism in Munich can look back on over 30 years of editorial experience and has been online for almost as long.

Ready to see us in action:

More To Explore
Enable registration in settings - general
Have any project in mind?

Contact us: