Beyond Email: 5 Alternative Ways to Fall Victim to Ransomware

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Ransomware via Exploit Kits

An exploit kit is defined as a type of a tool that exploits various security holes in the software installed on a machine. A cybercriminal buys or rents such an exploit kit, like a commercial product, and includes the ransomware that they wish to deliver by exploiting compromised legitimate websites. Victims of this type of ransomware get attacked by visiting an infected website or browsing a web page that contains infected banner ads. The exploit kit scans the vulnerable components and installed plug-ins in the browsers and serves the exploit code. After the successful exploitation, the attacker drops the ransomware onto the end-user's computer, encrypting the system and locking the user out of their data and demanding a ransom.

Ransomware, without a doubt, is dominating the cyber-threat landscape by holding critical systems and data hostage in industries ranging from health care and finance to government and energy. Ransomware is a class of malware that, when distributed to a system, renders victims' systems unusable by encrypting computers and data or by locking applications. The attacker's goal is to blackmail the victim into paying a ransom in exchange for decryption keys, allowing them to regain control of their systems and data.

Most information and reports about ransomware, however, have focused on phishing as a conduit for ransomware delivery and often overlook other distribution methods in use. Attackers are becoming craftier with their methods to spread malware that encrypts files and locks data, blindsiding victims before they even realize they have been attacked.

So while organizations and individuals are performing everyday tasks – like running their businesses in the cloud and using social media – alternative ways to receive ransomware, which don't require victims to open a phishing email, also pose a serious threat. In this slideshow, Aditya Sood, PhD., director of security and Elastica Cloud Threat Labs at Blue Coat, discusses five alternative ways that organizations can fall victim to ransomware and offers advice on how they can protect themselves.

 

Related Topics : Unisys, Stimulus Package, Security Breaches, Symantec, Electronic Surveillance

 
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