Ransomware attacks in PH surge by 60% — Palo Alto Networks

Unit 42 of Palo Alto Networks revealed the 57.4% surge in ransomware attacks in the Philippines is partly due to the increase in aggressive attacks by threat actors. Harassment, the research unit of the cybersecurity solutions company said, is involved 20 times more often than in 2021.

Of the almost 60% increase, 11 were reported across key sectors. In Southeast Asia, the Philippines ranked fourth, alongside Malaysia, with the highest number of ransomware attacks, accounting for around 12% of the attacks in the region.

According to Palo Alto Networks, Thailand has the most reported number of ransomware attacks with 28, followed by Singapore (18), and Indonesia (14). Vietnam has nine reported attacks. 

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“This harassment is typically carried out via phone calls and emails targeting a specific individual, often in the C-suite, or even customers, to pressure them into paying a ransom demand,” Palo Alto Networks said in a statement.

Every day, Unit 42 researchers see an average of seven new ransomware victims posted on leak sites or one new victim every four hours. In 53% of Unit 42’s ransomware incidents involving negotiation, ransomware groups have threatened to leak data stolen from organizations on their leak site websites. 


The data are based on Unit 42’s incident response report of approximately 1,000 cases in the past 18 months.

The threat research team found that manufacturing, professional and legal services, and state and local governments remained the most targeted sectors in the Philippines.

The security research team pointed out the spike in attacks in schools and hospitals, with some of the incidents, carried out by Vice Society, which was responsible for the data leaks from several major school systems in 2022.

“The group continues to be active in 2023, with nearly half of the incidents posted to their leak site impacting educational institutions,” the researchers said. 

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