Cybercrime continues to evolve and new threats appear on a regular basis, but the most effective attacks never go away. While spear phishing and data breaches have been getting all the attention lately, the criminals are still using ransomware to make a few bucks.
The story on ransomware
Ransomware is a type of malware that infects your system and encrypts your most important data, allowing attackers to ask for a ransom in exchange for a decryption key. The ransomware is not designed to steal the data, just to block your access so that you have to meet the criminal's demands in order for you to use your data again. These demands are usually a monetary “ransom” paid to an anonymous recipient via cryptocurrency. Once this ransom is paid, the decryption key should unlock all of the data that was encrypted by the ransomware.
Ransomware attacks can be devastating. This Internet Crime Report reveals that the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) received 1783 ransomware complaints in 2017, with losses of over $2.3 million. These numbers may be understated since the IC3 complaints have to be identified as ransomware to be included in this statistic. Furthermore, many businesses do not report ransomware attacks despite the pleas for transparency by law enforcement and security experts. In fact, 2017 was the year that 70% of ransomware victims just decided it was easier to pay the ransom than restore the files without the decryption keys. An earlier IBM study found that over half of the businesses they surveyed reported paying over $10,000 and about 20% paid over $40,000.
Top Aerospace Firm Sends Ransomware Crooks Packing
Get the details on how HarcoSemco foiled a CryptoLocker attack with the push-button ease of Barracuda Backup
Stasia (Anastasia) Hurley is a Senior Product Marketing Manager with Barracuda.