Ransomware: The Rising Face of Cybercrime

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Pay the Ransom or Not?

Organizations need to understand the risks associated with ransomware and weigh their options accordingly to determine which approach is the best one to take. However, experts suggest that paying the ransom in these attacks does not help. According to FBI Cyber Division Assistant Director, James Trainor, "paying a ransom not only emboldens current cyber criminals to target more organizations, it also offers an incentive for other criminals to get involved in this type of illegal activity." While the FBI does not support paying a ransom, it does recognize that executives, when faced with interoperability issues, will evaluate all options to protect their shareholders, employees and customers.

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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