The FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) says that during 2015, its officers received a record number of complaints from users infected with ransomware.

According to the IC3’s 2015 Internet Crime Report, the Bureau saw 2,453 ransomware complaints in 2015, a thousand more than 2014’s total of 1,402. IC3 officials estimate that these infections caused damages of well over $1.6 million to the affected parties.

The report only includes data from 2015, when even if ransomware was a dangerous threat, it never reached the levels it attained during the first few months of 2016.


Ransomware’s ascension continued in 2016

Previous reports by Enigma Software and Kaspersky revealed that ransomware campaigns intensified during the start of the year, growing 14 percent year-over-year.

Taking into account that the FBI’s report only includes official complaints filed with the agency in the US, worldwide numbers are much larger, and total damages are expected to be in the billions.

In fact, telemetry data only from Kaspersky security products detected over 372,000 ransomware attacks, and these were the ones that were detected and stopped. There are countless of users that don’t use Kaspersky products or don’t use security solutions at all.

“Recent [ransomware] iterations target enterprise end users, making awareness and training a critical preventative measure,” the IC3 report points out to US companies. And the FBI is right, because only a few days ago, Kaspersky published a study in which it revealed that 43 percent of US and Canadian users still have no clue what ransomware is, let alone how it operates.

BEC scams also very popular

Besides ransomware, other cyber-crimes included in IC3’s report include identity theft (21,949 complaints), personal data breaches (19,632 complaints), credit card fraud (17,172 complaints), confidence/romance fraud (12,509 complaints), business email compromise (BEC) (7,837 complaints), malware (3,249 complaints), corporate data breach (2,499 complaints), and Denial of Service (1,020 complaints)

Of these, the FBI says that during 2015, alongside ransomware, BEC scams also saw a huge rise in complaints, also causing the biggest damages of all recorded cyber-crimes, causing losses of $246 million.

Top Internet crime categories in 2015

Top Internet crime categories in 2015

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