Beyond Email: 5 Alternative Ways to Fall Victim to Ransomware

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Compromised Websites

In the past few months, ransomware has been found to have infected actual websites after cybercriminals gained access to hosting servers. Attackers using this type of method exploit vulnerabilities in web applications or hosting software to upload ransomware that then encrypts files within a website, locks the files hosted on a server, and essentially holds the website itself hostage. In some cases, organizations that have fallen victim to this type of attack have had to resort to rebuilding their entire site. Additionally, the ransomware can potentially spread to multiple websites if the websites are hosted in the same environment.

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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