Ransomware: The Rising Face of Cybercrime

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Ransomware Continues to Rapidly Evolve

Most ransomware attacks share a common trait — they begin with one seemingly benign email attachment opened by an employee. This action introduces malicious code into the network that encrypts or locks critical data (e.g., patient records, financial information or business documents). One in ten organizations in education has been impacted by Nymaim, while 34 different government groups have been hit with Locky — which was discovered less than eight months ago — and has already become the second-most common type of ransomware found across the six industries examined. Nymaim, although typically associated with ransomware, is actually a Trojan that can be used to install a variety of malware. Similarly, Matsnu is another type of Trojan malware that can remotely download and execute files. One unique capability of Matsnu is its ability to lock or unlock computers for ransom.

In 1989, long before the widespread adoption of the internet, cyber criminals were using floppy disks to spread ransomware across computers. Today's cyber criminals have evolved their approach using advanced strains of ransomware that encrypt data on an organization's network or lock users out of their devices. These hackers then demand a ransom, typically in the form of Bitcoin, before restoring the data back to normal.

Ransomware is a legitimate threat, with estimates from the U.S. Department of Justice showing that over 4,000 of these attacks have occurred every day since the beginning of the year.

In a recent industry report by BitSight, researchers analyzed the growing trend of ransomware across nearly 20,000 companies to identify common forms of ransomware, and identify which industries are most susceptible to these types of attacks. This slideshow highlights the findings of this recent report.

 

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

 
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