Ransomware attacks – which countries are the top targets?

Attackers are shifting focus, says report

Ransomware attacks – which countries are the top targets?


By Mika Pangilinan

The landscape of ransomware attacks is undergoing significant changes, according to a report from cybersecurity software provider NordLocker.

While the US has consistently been the most affected country by ransomware attacks, the report noted a shift in focus towards other nations.

NordLocker said the UK has risen to the 2nd most attacked country, accounting for nearly 6% of global attacks in 2022, higher than 4% in the previous year. Similarly, Germany witnessed an increase from 3.7% of attacks in 2021 to 4.1% in 2022.

The US sat at the top of the list, experiencing 38.8% of attacks in 2022. While this is significantly higher than the other countries in the top five, it is still lower than the 45.8% of attacks it received in 2021.

Canada trailed behind Germany, accounting for 3.9% of all attacks, followed by Italy with 3.3%, which rounded out the list of top five most attacked countries in 2022. 

The NordLocker report also indicated a decrease in the number of countries targeted by ransomware attacks, with 91 countries affected in 2022 compared to 102 in 2021.

Financial sector sees increase in attacks

Another trend highlighted in the NordLocker report is the increasing number of ransomware attacks on the financial sector.

While the total number of ransomware attacks worldwide decreased slightly from 2,702 in 2021 to 2,257 in 2022, the financial sector experienced a significant increase over the same period.

The financial sector was ranked the sixth most attacked sector in 2021. However, by 2022, it had become the most attacked sector, accounting for a total of 120 attacks.

“This change may suggest that threat actors concentrate their efforts on specific regions or industries,” said Aivaras Vencevičius, head of product for NordLocker. “We've noticed that finance companies have become increasingly worried about their cybersecurity. Companies are noticing an increase in cyber attacks in this sector.”

Other sectors identified as prime targets of ransomware attacks in 2022 include construction with 142 attacks and manufacturing with 119.

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