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Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Ransomware – The next level of Cybersecurity - Deadliness

What would you do if today you found out that cybercriminals had managed to infect your computer with malware that has encrypted all your files? Would you pay to get them back, and if so, how much are you willing to spend? Five times or more amount ?? What if you are in charge of a company server on which all your organization’s intellectual property gets locked up by a cyber-extortion gang? What if all the computers in the hospital you manage are encrypted and held hostage by cybercriminals? Will you pay? Attackers are counting on you to do just that!

What is Ransomware?
Ransomware is a family of computer bugs that are programmed to lock up an endpoint, such as a PC, server, or mobile device, in various ways and then asks the victim to pay a ransom to regain control of the data or the endpoint. A Ransomware attack can affect an individual or organization anywhere in the world. According to the FBI, ransomware attacks cost victims in the US a total of $209 million in the first three months of 2016. That’s a 771% increase for the $24 million reported in all of 2015.

How does it attack?
Cybercriminals typically use social engineering such as unsolicited email, or spam, to lure victims into opening a malicious attachment. The attachment attempts to exploit a vulnerability in productivity software the user likely possesses in order to allow file execution, in this case Ransomware. The Ransomware code is designed to scan the file system on the endpoint and find all the locations where the victim keeps files, including shadow copies and backup files and including network repositories and even external drives attached to the endpoint. The files are then encrypted and users are prevented from accessing them. The key to unlocking the files remains in the cybercriminal’s hands until the victim pays a ransom to obtain the key and attempts to restore the files.

Your MONEY or your DATA?
Victims all around the globe have been receiving on-screen ransom requests averaging $500USD, demanded most often in the form of cryptocurrency. Businesses are now seeing larger-scale ransomware attacks on their servers and networks, along with demands for 4- to 5-digit ransom payments, all the way up to millions demanded in some cases.

What can consumer do to lower the Ransomware risk?

What can Business do to lower the ransomeware risk?

Ransomware has emerged as one of the most lucrative and popular techniques cybercriminals are using against both businesses and consumers.

We strongly encourage you to read X-Force research report (https://securityintelligence.com/media/ransomware-report/) to get a deeper insight on Ransomware.We urge you to take necessary and sensible precautions and encourage safe practices within your team. 

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