Online criminals are beginning to increase the volume of attacks against federal agencies specifically by use of ransomware, according to a statement from the Department of Homeland Security on Wednesday. The DHS warns that more than 300 attempted ransomware attacks on 29 federal agencies have been reported since June of last year. Fortunately, in no case was the government forced to pay the ransom. On the other hand, however, ransomware brings in nearly $500 million per year for cybercriminals, with that number expected to rise due to recent, high-profile data breaches on hospitals across the country. The DHS warns that many more attacks may have occurred, as victims do not always report the attack when a smaller amount of money is demanded. These staggering numbers come in response of the Senate Homeland Security Committee leaders – Chairman Ron Johnson and ranking member Tom Carper – requesting more data on ransomware due to its sudden increase in attacks.

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