It has been reported that a cybercrime group known as Vice Society has been linked to multiple ransomware strains in its malicious campaigns aimed at the education, government, and retail sectors. The Microsoft Security Threat Intelligence team, which is tracking the threat cluster under the moniker DEV-0832, said the group avoids deploying ransomware in some cases and rather likely carries out extortion using exfiltrated stolen data.
As mentioned by Redmond, this group of bad actors focuses on organizations that have weaker security. This underscored the need for organizations to keep their systems and apps, from the server level on down to mobile devices, updated to the latest operating systems and apps to plug security holes like the ones used in these attacks.
Our analysis shows ransomware attacks on US schools peaked around 2019 to 2020 during the height of the pandemic. Although the number of attacks and victims decreased in 2021, ransomware is still a major threat to schools. According to our report, 67 ransomware attacks affected 954 US schools and colleges in 2021, impacting nearly a million students. We estimate that these attacks cost education institutions $3.56 billion in downtime alone. In most cases, attackers are looking for low-hanging fruit: easily manipulated staff and zero-day vulnerabilities in school software.