Answer: nearly $1 billion
According to an IBM report, ransomware was one of the top cyberthreats of 2016 and cybercriminals were on pace to make nearly $1 billion from it during the year. Released Dec. 14, the report also said ransomware made up nearly 40 percent of spam emails sent throughout the year.
Government Technology reported on numerous ransomware attacks against the public sector in 2016. The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency was hit with malware on Nov. 25, which affected 900 office computers and access to various systems, including the payroll system. In September, Honolulu Fire Department personnel inadvertently downloaded ransomware that infected about 20 computers, forcing the department to temporarily shut down its administrative computers. And on April 25, an attack launched against a Michigan utility provider proved just how vulnerable organizations can be.