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The average ransomware payment looks to be on the decline. Cybercriminals are exploiting overeager Microsoft 11 fans. And digital extortion is costing schools, with little hope in sight. This is CyberScoop for July 26, 2021.

An encouraging ransomware trend

The average ransomware payment dropped by 38% in the second quarter of 2021, according to ransomware response firm Coveware. The decline comes in the shadow of increased scrutiny by the U.S. government after a recent wave of attacks. The increase in attacks have also put pressure on the private sector to tighten its security practices and for cyber insurers to harden requirements, the report notes. Tonya Riley has more.

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Microsoft 11 fake installers spreading malware

Kaspersky said that it's seen cybercriminals using fake Microsoft 11 installers to infect victims with malware. Microsoft 11 isn't out until later this fall, but that hasn't stopped people from trying to get ahold of it through unofficial avenues. The infections range from from relatively innocuous adware to password stealers and trojans, Kaspersky said. Tim Starks writes.

Ransomware hits education harder, costs more

A recent Sophos survey of education IT professionals found that nearly half of all education institutions globally were targeted by ransomware in 2020, with 58% of those saying that cybercriminals succeeded in encrypting their data. Forty-four percent of respondents said they experienced a ransomware attack in 2020, with 33% reporting that they expected to be struck in the future. On average, educational institutions lost $2.73 million in an average ransomware incident, nearly $300,000 more than distributors and transportation companies, the next-highest sector. Benjamin Freed has the StateScoop story.

Dutch regulators ding TikTok

Dutch authorities fined TikTok the equivalent of $885,000 for failing to offer its privacy statement in Dutch. The app has roughly 3.5 million users in the Netherlands, many of whom are children. TikTok is pushing back against the fine and says it added a shorter privacy policy in Dutch in July 2020. The Associated Press has the story.

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