Las Vegas saw 300 times more detections than No. 10 Fort Wayne, Indiana.
Those in Las Vegas fall victim to ransomware more than people in any other US city, according to a new report from Malwarebytes.
The firm analyzed nearly half a million ransomware incidents to identify the 10 US cities most victimized by the threatening software. Sin City topped the list with the most ransomware detections overall, the most detections per individual machine, and most detections per population.
In fact, the metropolitan Las Vegas area saw 300 times more detections than Fort Wayne, Indiana—No. 10 on the list—and had “500 times the average detection levels of the 40 cities with the most ransomware,” the firm said.
Coming in second was Memphis, Tenn.; followed by Stockton, Calif.; Detroit, Mich.; and Toledo, Ohio. Two other Ohio cities — Cleveland and Columbus — came in sixth and seventh, respectively, followed by Buffalo, N.Y.; San Antonio, Texas; and Fort Wayne, Indiana.
“The results of our research shows that cybercriminal gangs have already saturated both the rural and urban US populace with ransomware, yet they are constantly improving their tactics, execution and business model to evade detection by current solutions,” Malwarebytes’ Head of Malware Intelligence Adam Kujawa said in a statement. “With millions of dollars being handed over to cybercriminals, ransomware will only increase in prevalence.”
Even smaller cities and towns are “experiencing a large percentage of ransomware detections (more than 85 percent in the period studied,” Malwarebytes warned.
Ransomware isn’t just a US-centric issue, but it’s more of a problem here than other places, the report indicates. Malwarebytes detected ransomware incidents in more than 200 countries from July through October 2016, and said the US had the largest percentage of attacks, accounting for 26 percent of global incidents. The US faced “200 percent more ransomware … than the number two country, Germany,” and nearly 550 percent more than No. 3 France, Malwarebytes said.
The most common forms of ransomware detected in the last quarter were Cerber, Locky, and CryptoWall.
Locky has been spotted in nearly 200 different countries, even in Antarctica, “meaning Locky had made its way to every continent,” the firm said. In fact, Locky appears to go wherever the viruses take it; it’s “relatively evenly dispersed among the top 10 victim countries,” with only 20 percent of Locky detections in the US.
To help protect people from ransomware, Malwarebytes alongside its report today released its “next generation antivirus replacement,” Malwarebytes 3.0. The company teased “four independent technology modules—anti-malware, anti-ransomware, anti-exploit, and malicious website protection—to block and remove both known and unknown threats.” An enterprise version is slated to arrive in 2017.