The FBI Received Over 2,600 Ransomware Complaints in 2016

The law enforcement agency received more than 2,600 complaints about ransomware last year, according to a new report.

Jun 23, 2017 at 2:15 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 11, 2021 at 1:28 p.m. UTC

The FBI received more than 2,600 complaints about ransomware last year, according to a new report.

Published yesterday, the annual review of cybersecurity threats from the law enforcement agency's Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) outlined a range of statistics, including the number of submissions it received regarding ransomware.

Ransomware is a type of malicious software that encrypts an infected computer's data, demanding a payment – usually in bitcoin – in return for the information being unlocked.

According to the IC3's report, 2,673 complaints were submitted, with losses of over $2.4m reported during that period. The number represents a small fraction of the 298,728 cybercrime-related complaints that IC3 said it received overall in 2016. All told, losses in 2016 connected to these activities constituted a reported $1.3bn.

The IC3 disclosure comes on the heels of a global ransomware attack, dubbed WannaCry, that impacted hundreds of thousands of computers owned by a host of organizations, including the UK's National Health Service.

The impact of that spread is still being felt, according to recent reports.

Reuters said yesterday that Japanese automaker Honda had to temporarily close one of its manufacturing plants because WannaCry was discovered on one of its networks.

FBI image via Shutterstock


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