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The Finnish Population Register Centre is orchestrating a country-level simulated crypto ransomware cyberattack that will cover more than 200 Finnish cities and municipalities.
A local news outlet reported that major cities and public organizations are bracing for the hypothetical attack where the objective will be to teach the participants how to respond when a group of hackers demand ransomware in cryptocurrency during a series of cyberattacks.
Finland’s government has been on high alert after an activist group called ‘#Tietovuoto321’ (data breach 321) had sent Bitcoin(BTC)trade ransom demands to 234 public organizations across Finland on October 10.
The Finnish government and public institutions often become target of sophisticated cyberattacks that compromise the agencies’ websites and steal public data which is then exploited to extract ransomware from the affected parties. With the new simulation program, gradually each and every major city and organization will be hit by the simulation. In the past month alone, two similar cyberattacks have impacted government and public offices.
In lieu of the ever-increasing threats of cyberattacks, the Finnish Population Register Centre (FPRC) hopes that by performing such a massive simulated attack, the organizers will be able to teach civilians how to respond without creating too much panic and chaos. The officials at the FPRC are confident that the proposed attack will cover maximum realistic scenarios.
Ransomware attacks are one of the worst cyberattacks that apart from compromising systems and data centers, personally affect the victims psychologically. If the attacks are executed industrially, they can even create panic that permeates across institutions and cities (or even countries).
Crypto Ransomware Attacks Around the World
This has recently happened in the United States where several US hospital were hit by a string of cyberattacks that compromised the internal network of those hospital, enabling the attackers to steal medical data of the patients among other forms of data. Many of the hospitals ended up paying the attackers.
Similarly, the Mexican state-owned giant oil firm Pemex became victim of a cyberattack that infiltrated computer systems by stealing the root-access. Pemex had to bail out for a ransom worth $4.9 million in Bitcoin. Other incidents include a Spanish radio station and even a city in California.
A recent report by McAfee Labs claims that ransomware attacks have increased up by 118% during the first quarter of this year, while other reports indicate that Bitcoin became the preferred payment option of ransomware attacks.
This year, Finnish towns such as Lahti, Pori and Kokemäki, as well as an array of public websites, have faced cyberattacks. Luckily for Finnish organizations, Finland is one of the few countries that is taking the threat as a national security issue and, evidently, is willing to tackle it.