Industry News

35-fold Quarter-over-Quarter Increase in Ransomware Domains in Q1

Cybercrime is a money-making machine, and it shows no sign of slowing down. The first quarter of 2016 saw 3,500% growth in the number of ransomware domains created, setting a record, Infoblox DNS Threat Index has found. Malicious DNS infrastructure, such as malware, phishing and exploit kits, has reached 7% growth, rising to a high of 137.

The Infoblox DNS Threat Index keeps track of all activity and threat levels of DNS-based malware. In the first quarter of 2016, the highest number of malware campaigns was launched using newly created ransomware domains.

“The index tracks both the creation of malicious domains and the infection of existing domains, tied to 67 separate threat categories globally, using data from a range of sources including government agencies, Internet service providers, enterprise network operators, and open sources,” Infoblox explains.

Exploit kits are still taking up around 50% of the index, with Angler and Neutrino as top threats, the research says. The number of criminals is growing as a result of automation and the shift to “cybercrime as a service.” Ransomware is on the rise, with various attacks on companies and consumers in the first quarter of 2016.

With various attacks on companies and consumers in the first quarter of 2016 such as the Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center in Los Angeles and MedStar Health in Washington D.C breaches, ransomware has already registered $209 million in profit.

“There has been a seismic shift in the ransomware threat, expanding from a few actors pulling off limited, small-dollar heists targeting consumers to industrial-scale, big-money attacks on all sizes and manner of organizations, including major enterprises. The threat index shows cyber-criminals rushing to take advantage of this opportunity,” said Rod Rasmussen, vice-president of cybersecurity at Infoblox.

The United States is the leading host of infected systems, with 41% of malicious domains, while Portugal (17%), Russia (12%), Netherlands (10%), UK (8%), and Iceland (6%) have gone up this quarter and account for more than half of the activities.

About the author


From a young age, Luana knew she wanted to become a writer. After having addressed topics such as NFC, startups, and tech innovation, she has now shifted focus to internet security, with a keen interest in smart homes and IoT threats. Luana is a supporter of women in tech and has a passion for entrepreneurship, technology, and startup culture.