Top Ransomware, Scam and Fraud Attacks in 2021
Top Ransomware, Scam and Fraud Attacks in 2021

2021 has been a busy year for people who were eager to turn back to regular business after a long period of restrictions caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. However, this was also the year when hackers and scammers have become more inventive and versatile than ever and tried to make money by any means, including demanding ransom from well-established organizations. Many have been the ransomware attacks targeting big companies that made headlines this year. Here are some of the most notorious ones.


The well-known computer manufacturer is just one of the big names from its industry that has been targeted by hackers this year. The ransomware attack occurred in May and behind it seems to be the group of hackers that goes by the name REvil, a group that carried multiple attacks on big organizations over the past years. The hackers leveraged a vulnerable point they detected in a Microsoft exchange server and managed to gain access to Acer’s sensitive financial documents which they leaked. The hackers demanded a ransom of $50 million.

Colonial Pipeline

Colonial Pipeline was one of the ransomware attacks of 2021 that gained the largest news coverage. The attack took place in April, and it caused huge disruption in the entire US national infrastructure system. Hackers managed to take the system down, which caused the gas supply system to stop functioning along the US East Coast. Unfortunately, many consumers were affected by this attack as they depend on gasoline. The authors of the attack were the DarkSide gang. The part of the company’s structure they attacked was their billing system, alongside its internal business network. This attack caused massive disruption, which urged the company to pay a ransom of $4.4 million in bitcoin.

JBS Foods

JBS Foods was cyber-attacked this year in May. The attack on the meat processing company is believed to be the work of REvil. According to media sources, after they’ve consulted several cybersecurity experts, the company decided to pay a ransom that amounted to $11 million, which is one of the most significant ransom payments ever. The amount was paid in bitcoin.


The well-known European insurance company has also suffered at the hands of hackers this year in May. It is believed that the company was attacked by the hacker gang known as Avaddon. The attack occurred right after AXA made official statements regarding their new insurance policy, whose changes affected precisely those people who have made ransomware payments. The insurer announced that they would no longer offer reimbursement for such payments. According to the information that became available soon after the attack, hackers gained access to a huge amount of 3 TB of data belonging to Axa.

Kia Motors

This year, in February the famous Hyundai subsidiary was attacked by hackers who demanded ransomware. The attack led to a prolonged and widespread system outage. The hack was claimed by a famous gang called the DoppelPaymer that released some information and documents belonging to the famous automobile manufacturer. It Is believed that the group asked for $20 million as ransom. Nonetheless, Kia Motors did not make any official statements regarding the attack.


Quanta is a computer manufacturer and one of the biggest partners of tech giant Apple. Just like many other big players that have been targeted by hackers this year, Quanta suffered at the hands of the REvil gang. The author demanded a significant ransom of $50 million. However, the company refused to pay the price. This prompted hackers to proceed with their threats by leaking some Apple blueprints they obtained from Quanta. It is yet unknown how the story unfolded. What we know is that Apple did not make any statements related to this hack.


This spring, in March, insurance giant CNA suffered a sophisticated cyber security attack caused by Phoenix CryptoLocker – a new type of ransomware that is believed to be connected to the famous Evil Corp hacking group. Through this ransomware, hackers have managed to impact CNA’s IT system, including their corporate email. Phoenix CryptoLocker managed to encrypt 15,000 devices on the company’s network.

Unfortunately, ransomware attacks are a reality we’ve gotten used to over the past years and, as we’ve seen, they can target anyone from individuals to multi-million dollar companies.

Beware of online scams and fraud attempts!

Top Measures to Avoid Payment Fraud

Digital scams have become increasingly common these days as more and more people report they have fallen victims to all sorts of payment frauds. To avoid them, you should consider improving your safety while making payments in the digital environment. Here are some methods that can consolidate your security.

How Does Financial Fraud Occur?

This type of fraud can take place in a variety of ways both online and offline. For example, if someone finds your billing statements, they can use your account information and start buying products. Your account can also be hacked as a result of malicious software you accidentally and unknowingly download on your computer after clicking on a link or downloading an email attachment. Likewise, the website of your bank or the retail platform you’re using might get hacked, and as a result, your card number might be stolen. Many online scams are carried out by simply offering a service or product at a lower price. To benefit from the offer, you need to register your bank account for the purchase. The next thing you realize is that you get charged for purchases you haven’t made.

So, how can you avoid these dangers and keep your money safe? Here are some safety measures you should adopt.

According to the Better Business Bureau (BBB), scammers have often relied on popular digital wallets in order to carry out payment fraud. Some of the most common payment services of this type include PayPal, CashApp, or Venmo, but there are plenty of other names that could be added to the list. Therefore, one of the main recommendations the BBB provides is to be cautious while using these services by taking several measures to prevent financial fraud. To keep your finances safe, when you make payments online, the best way to avoid fraud or hacking risks is to link your digital wallets to credit cards, not to your bank account. This way, even if someone manages to gain access to your account, they won’t be able to reach your savings.

As soon as you receive an unexpected amount of money, ask the sender to immediately cancel the transaction, if possible. Many online payment scams start by making payment mistakes intentionally.

Increase your safety while making payments by using security measures such as PINs or face ID recognition.

Report any scam you have experienced, or believe you might have been exposed to. The sooner the company that managed your digital wallet or bank account knows about the potential risks, the better as they can stop the scammers from robbing other people.

Don’t provide your bank account number to any unknown persons who sell products or services on the phone. Only do this if you have made the call and you’ve contacted a company that is trustworthy and reputable. If you’ve never bought anything from the company you plan to call, do an online search to understand how reliable the company is and read customer reviews.

When you buy something in a store, pay attention to your card from the moment you take it out of your wallet until you put it back. Make sure no one takes a photo of it or tries to copy the information on your card, and most importantly, make sure you always get it back.

Save all your receipts so you can compare them with your bank statements and don’t ever sign a blank receipt.

If you buy anything online, make sure you always receive a bill, check the amount that’s written on it and compare it with the sum that was withdrawn from your bank account. This is especially important if you make significant purchases.

If you spot any suspicious charges, report them to your card issuer immediately. If you’ve been the victim of some sort of scam or financial fraud, the sooner you let your bank and the authorities know about it, the better as there are higher chances they catch the authors.

If you suspect that someone has accessed your card or you’re sure it was used fraudulently, check your transactions immediately by contacting your bank or using their internet banking service. It doesn’t matter if someone stole $5 or $5,000 from your account. Reporting payment frauds helps everyone stay safer if fraudsters are found and stopped.

Post by Clearwater Management Korea.


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