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Intel tech chief: 'Ransomware' attackers setting sights on these

Cybercriminals using "ransomware" are shifting their sights from individual targets to bigger ones, Intel Security Group's Steve Grobman said Monday.

"We're now starting to see the shift from not only consumers [to] even soft-target organizations and businesses, like hospitals, universities and police stations," he told CNBC's "Squawk Alley."

Grobman, Intel Security's chief technology officer, also said key infrastructures in the U.S. are at risk of a ransomware attack, and greater coordination between government and private entities is needed to fight off such infiltrations.


A ransomware attack occurs when a cybercriminal essentially takes the victim's files and information hostage in exchange for money. These types of attacks rose 26 percent in the last quarter of 2015 from the previous quarter, according to a report from McAfee Labs and Intel.

"I think the interesting thing about ransomware is that it's a very effective way for the cybercriminals to monetize their cybercrime," Grobman said.

"Instead of stealing data where they then need to go through a fairly complex process to sell that data on the black market, with ransomware they're essentially getting paid directly by the victim."