Ransomware attacks against companies and institutions increased sharply (+ 32%) between 2019 and 2020, according to a study published on Wednesday by the Ministry of the Interior.

This study, the first of its kind carried out by the Ministerial Statistical Service for Internal Security (SSMSI), covers 2016 to 2020. The industry sector and public administrations are particularly affected.

An explosion in the number of procedures between 2019 and 2020

Over the period, the national police and gendarmerie services recorded between 1,580 and 1,870 procedures related to ransomware attacks targeting companies and institutions, according to this study.

This method is to demand a ransom after blocking access to data through malware.

According to the high estimate, the number of procedures opened in connection with ransomware attacks increased on average by 3% each year until 2019, then accelerated (+ 32%) between 2019 and 2020. Nevertheless, underlines According to this study, procedures related to ransomware attacks against companies and institutions only represent 15% of attacks on automated data processing systems recorded between 2016 and 2020.

Ever higher ransoms

The industrial sector (7% of the French economic fabric) is particularly affected: it represents 15% of the victims recorded. That of public administrations, education, health and social action is over-represented: 20% of victims while it represents only 13% of establishments in France.


In this sector, local authorities are particularly attacked (85% of public administrations victims in 2020).

The ransoms demanded by criminals are increasingly important and most often demanded in cryptocurrency, according to the study of the SSMSI.

The median value of their amounts registered with the police and gendarmerie services (in 16% of the procedures, these amounts are revealed by the victims) increased by around 50% per year between 2016 and 2020, to 6,375 euros for 2020.

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