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42M+ People's Financial Data Compromised in UK

The increasing rate of cyberattacks is staggering in the U.K.

 

According to a press release from international law firm RPC, a growing number of ransomware attacks has resulted in the disclosure of financial data pertaining to about 42.2 million persons in the United Kingdom. 

“The surprisingly high number of people whose financial data was impacted in the last year shows how cyber-attacks have become endemic,” said RPC partner Richard Breavington. “Hackers are continually refining their methods, employing ever more complex techniques to extort money in whatever way they can. Some businesses, fearing the potential reputational costs, not to mention other consequences, decide that they will take the last-ditch approach of paying the ransom demands. As a result, these attacks have become very lucrative for cybercriminals.” 

Cyberattacks are spreading at an alarming rate, notably in the United Kingdom. In the years 2019-2020, 2.2 million people's data was stolen, compared to 42.2 million in the years 2021-2022, a startling increase of over 1,700% in just three years. One of the possible explanations for this increase in risking residents' sensitive information was pointed to as an increase in data in general. The cybercriminal network will then sell the information in a marketplace and perhaps hold financial institutions for ransom if the data has been corrupted by malware or ransomware. 

Breavington explains in the release that “criminal gangs are doing this because their blackmail threats over encryption alone are becoming less effective as businesses get better at backing up their systems. But hackers have honed their tactics and added this additional form of blackmail.” 

As a result of many firms finding it easier to just pay the ransom to attackers, several hacking groups have increased the number of attacks they carry out in a short period of time. As we saw earlier this month, ransomware and cyber threat groups will occasionally get access to a company's system and examine its inner workings for a period of time before launching an attack. 

“Before carrying out an attack, hackers are increasingly carrying out reconnaissance to scope out protections that are in place, as well as data held by the company,” Breavington said. “Businesses should not be making their jobs easier by signposting this information.” 

Many people are losing faith in firms' ability to keep their financial information secure as the number of hacks rises. As a result, many firms must recognise that it is their job to strengthen security layers, maintain a 24/7 approach to cybersecurity and online threats, and regularly self-audit their processes to ensure that they are doing everything necessary to reclaim that lost confidence.
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