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Based on the Malwarebytes Threat Brief reports, the Vice Society ransomware gang has during the past 12 months, especially in the US and UK, been the most active ransomware organization in terms of assaults against educational institutions globally.
Vice Society appears to specialize in causing highly extraordinary damage to schools, colleges, and universities, even though ransomware assaults on the education sector have long been a hallmark of the industry.
Vice Society assaults were mostly targeted at the education sector between April 2022 and March 2023, making about 39% of all attacks by the group, compared to an average of 4% for all other ransomware organizations.
Vice Society’s emphasis on education is obviously deliberate and has probably helped the organization to establish efficient procedures and specialization.
Vice Society, which targets educational facilities in the two most often targeted nations in the world – the United States and the United Kingdom – is the most active threat actor globally. Vice Society is the most active organization in the US. Nearly 70% of all assaults on the education sector in the UK are attributable to Vice Society.
The Challenges Faced by Educational Institutions in Combating Vice Society’s Ransomware Attacks
The entire business, not just one or a few systems, is the target of a contemporary ransomware assault. By suspending the organization’s activities and then demanding a ransom, which might be millions of dollars, the attackers want to place the company in a precarious position.
Fighting a dedicated organization like Vice Society is challenging for any business, but schools have additional financial constraints to contend with. You should keep in mind that as a result of recovering from a cyberattack and paying a ransom, the institution may incur significant (and occasionally exorbitant) costs.
In order to implement sufficiently advanced detection and response capabilities to detect and address cyber risks, schools, colleges, and institutions must find a way to balance their limited financial resources.
Notably, Vice Society was dubbed “one of the most influential ransomware groups of 2022” by Palo Alto Networks in December 2022. The organization has targeted businesses in the healthcare, government, manufacturing, retail, and legal services sectors overall.
According to Unit 42 experts, the gang stays with the victims for six days, and the first ransom demand may surpass $1 million. However, following discussions, it may be reduced by 60% to $400,000 instead.
Here’s what the Unit 42 researcher, J. R. Gumarin, said:
“School districts with inadequate cyber security and few resources are frequently the most exposed to Vice Society.”