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Ransomware- Threat to the Companies’ Data

The advancement of technologies is increasing the risk of ransomware attacks on businesses, and government entities leading to huge losses

Malware known as ransomware restricts or prevents users from accessing their systems, either by locking the system's screen or by encrypting the users' files, in exchange for a ransom. When unaware individuals access dangerous or compromised websites, ransomware can be downloaded onto their devices. It might also be delivered as a payload that other malware drops or downloads. Some ransomware is sent as an attachment in spam emails and is downloaded from malicious websites via malvertisements, or dropped onto weak systems using exploit kits. Attacks using ransomware can take on a variety of forms and dimensions. The attack vector has a significant impact on the kinds of ransomware that are employed. Regardless of the ransomware kind, properly using security tools and storing data beforehand can dramatically lessen the severity of an attack. There were more than 230 million ransomware attacks in the first half of 2022 around the world.

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Categories of Ransomware

Depending on the virus variety, ransomware poses a risk. There are two basic types of ransomware to take into account first:

  • Locker ransomware: Infected computers are the target of "locker ransomware" viruses that encrypt user files and prevent access to data and files unless a ransom or fines are paid. A copy of the Locker virus, the Crypto Locker malware has infected over 250,000 computers. Locker virus typically only seeks to lock you out; it seldom targets important files. It is therefore improbable that all of your data will be completely destroyed.
  • Crypto ransomware: Crypto ransomware's objective is to encrypt your critical data, such as papers, images, and videos, without attempting to obstruct fundamental computer operations. As people can see their files but not access them, this causes worry. Crypto ransomware, often referred to as Crypto Defense, Crypto Wall, and CryptoLocker, is a type of malware that spreads by emails, instant messaging programs, and drive-by downloads.
Few Types of Ransomware
  • WannaCry- WannaCry is an example of crypto-ransomware, a category of harmful software (malware) used by thieves to demand money. It was built to take advantage of a security flaw in Windows that the NSA created and the Shadow Brokers hacker collective disclosed. 230,000 computers were impacted by WannaCry worldwide. One-third of all NHS hospitals in the UK were affected by the attack, which resulted in estimated damages of 92 million pounds. Users were locked out, and a Bitcoin ransom was requested. Around USD4 billion in financial harm was inflicted by WannaCry on a global scale.
  • Jigsaw- The main character of the Saw horror series was Jigsaw. This persona belonged to the serial killer Jim Kramer, also known as the Jigsaw Killer. Jigsaw ensnared his victims in the lead-up to a murder and then tormented them with assignments that claimed to save their lives. A puppet named Billy provided directions for these duties over TV monitors. The malware's ransom demand features a picture of this puppet, which provided the name for the ransomware. The use of the graphic from a horror film made people feel more stressed. BitcoinBlackmailer was another name for the Jigsaw ransomware. It only targets Windows-based computers for attack.
  • Petya- Petya ransomware encrypts crucial data that are required for your computer to run correctly, then holds them prisoner until the ransom is paid. The master file table (MFT) on your machine is encrypted by Petya ransomware. The MFT is the quick-reference manual for every single file in your drive on your computer. Petya infects the master boot record (MBR) of a Windows PC when the victim unintentionally puts it there. Every time a computer is turned on, its operating system is loaded thanks to a component of its software known as the MBR. After forcing the computer to restart, Petya enters the MBR and starts encrypting the MFT while displaying its ransom letter.
  • B0r0nt0k- The "B0r0nt0K" cryptovirus has been placing Linux and possibly Windows Web servers in danger of encrypting all of the files within the compromised domain. The data on a Linux server are encrypted by this dangerous ransomware, which adds the ".rontok" file extension. According to 2-Spyware.com, a cryptovirus like B0r0nt0k can disable security software or other features so that it can continue to operate unhindered. If left unattended, the B0r0nt0k ransomware might change more important computer components.
  • FAIR ransomware- Fair is a member of the Makop ransomware clan. Data is encrypted, all encrypted files are renamed, and a ransom note is produced. It is further claimed that victims run the risk of permanently damaging encrypted files if they alter the encryption process or attempt to decrypt them using unofficial software.
  • WordPress ransomware- The files on a WordPress website are the target of WordPress ransomware, as the name implies. As is common with ransomware, the victim is blackmailed into paying the ransom. Ransomware attacks by cybercriminals are more likely to occur on WordPress sites that are more popular. According to data owing to weak passwords, over 8% of WordPress websites are compromised.

How to prevent ransomware attacks?

  • Make a cloud backup of your crucial data and files. As per estimates, more than 80% of companies use the cloud to store data or backups.
  • Update all the software that is currently installed on your computer. Automatic update functionality for operating systems and other frequently used programs like Microsoft Office, Firefox, Chrome, and Java should always be enabled. The majority of these improvements offer cutting-edge security capabilities, especially in healthcare cybersecurity and others.
  • Downloading from untrusted sources should be avoided. Before opening any downloads, scan them first.

How to prevent ransomware attacks?

  • The Joint Ransomware Task Force (JRTF) was established in May 2022 by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) to address the growing danger posed by ransomware groups. Additionally, the DOJ disclosed two global initiatives:
  • A National Cryptocurrency Enforcement Team to assist federal authorities in shutting down virtual currency exchanges and comparable businesses used for money laundering during ransomware attacks and other unlawful activity. Federal authorities seek firms they suspect of having ties to cyber security fraud as part of a civil cyber fraud initiative.
  • The new StopRansomware.gov is the first joint website designed to assist private and public enterprises in reducing their ransomware risk and represents a collaborative effort across the federal government. The first central portal for compiling ransomware resources from all federal government agencies is StopRansomware.gov.

Recent News

  • A recent intrusion on the Belgian city of Antwerp has been blamed on the Play ransomware operation. The city's phone, email, and IT services were down last week as a result of a ransomware attack on Digipolis, the IT firm in charge of administering Antwerp's IT systems.
  • Ransomware has been in the news again as a result of the recent onslaught on Delhi's AIIMS. Since the first one in 1989, which involved mailing infected floppy discs to 20,000 people, such attacks have advanced significantly.

Conclusions

Ransomware assaults are more common today than ever before. You require a solid security strategy that tackles company resilience and continuity concerns. While ransomware assaults are unavoidable, backup services can help you protect the organization with data resiliency, operationalize security across their backup and primary surroundings, and accelerate the recovery procedure so you can get the return to normal sooner.

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swara-keni
Swara Keni

Head- Global Business Development

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