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A hot summer for ransomware: Attacks double since last June

June was the hottest month on record in the U.S. since at least 1850. It was also a record month for ransomware attacks.

The rise in activity runs counter to the usual summertime lull that occurs as hackers take vacations.

Desktops and devices may offer distractions from the heat, but they offer no escape from ransomware attacks, which more than doubled compared to last June.

Axios reports dark web extortion sites listed 456 companies as victims that month, although those numbers are not entirely reliable: The list doesn't include organizations that paid ransom, and some perpetrators exaggerate their numbers.

Experts hypothesize bad actors may be seizing an opportunity created when the MOVEit file transfer tool was compromised this spring by a Russia-linked ransomware gang.

Nearly 20% of the alleged June victims had links to MOVEit, according to a report by the cyber insurance company Corvus.

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Nicholas Gerbis was a senior field correspondent for KJZZ’s Arizona Science Desk from 2016 to 2024.