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The ransomware business is booming, even as enforcers shut down some major players

A cartoon illustration shows a shadowy figure carrying off a red directory folder, which has a surprised-looking face on its side.
Illustration: Beatrice Sala

2023 was a big year for ransomware groups, even as law enforcement around the world continued to crack down on attackers.

Palo Alto Networks’ Unit 42, the threat intelligence firm, found a 49 percent bump in victims reported by ransomware leak sites, totaling nearly 4,000 posts to those sites from different ransomware groups. Unit 42 said the uptick was due to the massive impact of attacks that exploited zero-day vulnerabilities, which are security flaws that developers have yet to identify. They pointed to the MOVEit Transfer software hack that the US government has connected to the CL0P Ransomware Gang, as one example. The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency estimated that hack compromised more than 3,000 US-based…

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