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Today, people around the world will head to school, doctor’s appointments, and pharmacies, only to be told, “Sorry, our computer systems are down.” The frequent culprit is a cybercrime gang operating on the other side of the world, demanding payment for system access or the safe return of stolen data.

The ransomware epidemic shows no signs of slowing down in 2024—despite increasing police crackdowns—and experts worry that it could soon enter a more violent phase.

“We’re definitely not winning the fight against ransomware right now,” Allan Liska, a threat intelligence analyst at Recorded Future, tells WIRED.

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