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The richer a country, the more ransomware victims it has

Tell me where you’re from and I’ll tell you how likely you are to be targeted by ransomware.

Most organisations put ransomware at the top of the list of cyber threats they are most concerned about. To better understand how ransomware gangs operate, the Centre for Cybersecurity Belgium analysed 2,5 years of ransomware data. It found a strong correlation between a country's GDP (gross domestic product, a measure of wealth at the national level) and the number of victims. 

Ransomware has plagued cyberspace for years. To combat this trend and better understand how ransomware groups operate, the Centre for Cybersecurity Belgium studied more than 14.000 ransomware victims. In their study gathering data from the last 2,5 years, they were able to show a strong correlation between a country's wealth and the number of ransomware victims per country. The study was based on datasets obtained from Trellix and Intel471, private companies, as well as victim information scraped from websites run by ransomware groups themselves. 

In their analysis, the CCB used GDP (gross domestic product) to measure wealth. They were able to show that the number of ransomware victims tends to correspond to a country's wealth. The vast majority of ransomware victims are in rich countries, probably because ransomware groups assume wealth based on the size of a country's economy. Overall, ransomware is a very real threat that disproportionately affects North America and Europe, where 80% of victims are located.
This study was conducted using a limited dataset of 14.000 records. If you are a researcher or work for an organisation with a strong focus on ransomware and you have information about ransomware incidents that you could share (such as modus operandi, number of incidents, ransom amount, underground monitoring,...), please consider sharing your data with CCB. Simply send an email to intelligence@ccb.belgium.be to start the conversation.