Network security could mean any number of things, but more often than not, people are using the term as a blanket statement against the dreaded idea of malware and its many forms. Today, we are discussing how vast the world of malware can be and how often you might find yourself misunderstanding what it exactly is. Knowing all this can help you identify if you have become a malware victim or not.
Ransomware is widely regarded as one of the worst modern cyberthreats out there today, and there's plenty of evidence to support this. These attacks and their aftereffects can devastate businesses of all industries. Let's consider why it is that ransomware is so dangerous, and what can be done to fight it.
Ransomware has been commonplace for years, with no sign of it going anywhere anytime soon. Let’s take a few moments to examine the state of ransomware right now, and review how to keep it from impacting your businesses.
There’s no way around it; ransomware is bad stuff, plain and simple. The first half of 2021 saw a massive increase in ransomware attacks that made the lives of countless individuals and business professionals difficult. However, a new trend is surfacing, and it’s one that you might be surprised to see: fake ransomware threats.
While it only makes sense to assume that a cybercriminal would focus specifically on those targets that would bring them the greatest profit—in other words, larger businesses—the reality of modern cybercrime renders this assumption grossly outdated. Let’s examine how different developments in ransomware have made it possible for cybercriminals to be far less discerning in who they target.
Ransomware is such a massive threat that all businesses should be aware of the latest news and findings regarding how it spreads and how it can be prevented. According to a recent report, the latest modes of transporting ransomware have been revealed. What can your organization do to keep ransomware off of its network? Let’s find out.
Ransomware has rapidly progressed from an irritating annoyance to a legitimate global threat, with the U.S. Justice Department officially going on the record and establishing that future ransomware investigations will be handled the same way that terrorism cases are now. Let’s review the reasons behind this policy change and how your business should respond.
Last weekend saw a significant cyberattack waged against the world’s largest meat processor and distributor, JBS S.A., that completely suspended the company’s operations in both North America and Australia… and as a result, has impacted the supply chains associated with the company. Let’s examine the situation to see what lessons we can take away from all this.
Headlines have been filled with news pertaining to the recent hack of Colonial Pipeline, which has created significant gasoline shortages up the east coast of the nation. While the pipeline has been restored, the way this was accomplished sets a dangerous precedent. On top of this, the attack seems to have set off bigger infrastructural changes in the political space.
Research has revealed that cyberattacks are spending decreasing amounts of time on their targeted networks before they are discovered. While this may sound like a good thing—a faster discovery of a threat is better than a slower one, after all—this unfortunately is not the case.
If fortune smiles on your company, you won’t ever have to deal with what we are about to discuss: ransomware. For the past several years ransomware has been a major issue for businesses, governments, and individuals. Today, we will talk about ransomware, how there are different strategies, and how some people want to put a ban on ransomware payments.
When it comes to ransomware, we have always stood firm in our recommendation not to pay whoever is responsible for locking down your systems. However, due to the globalized nature of technology and cybercrime, it is even more important that companies don’t attempt to placate their attackers with the demanded funds. Otherwise, warns the United States Treasury Department, these victimized businesses could very well pay severe fines for doing so.
Ransomware is the scariest type of malware out there. It can have a myriad of negative effects on a business, yet it seems to still be on the fringe of the mainstream. Today, we thought we would give somewhat of a refresher course on ransomware.
The growing popularity of ransomware has been disconcerting to many IT professionals, particularly due to the different tactics that this malware variant has been spotted utilizing. In order to protect your business from these attacks, it helps to know how they work. We’ve put together a beginner’s field guide to ransomware types to help you identify (and hopefully avoid) it.
Ransomware attacks grew less common in both 2018 and thus far in 2019 when compared to 2017. Unfortunately, recent events have made it more likely that this trend will reverse in the near future. Why is that? Simple: some municipalities have set a precedent of paying up.
In 2017, ransomware became a huge threat for businesses, so when discussing how nefarious actors will be leveraging new ransomware streams in 2018, you have to do so with some urgency. Today we will provide some information on ransomware, the current trends, and some trends you have to be very mindful of going forward.
Run your Windows Updates and be very skeptical about opening unsolicited emails. Failure to do so may result in a very dangerous strain of ransomware that could infect your entire network and spread to your clients, partners, and prospects.
Halloween is a time when we celebrate what scares us, like ghosts, goblins, ghouls, and the like. For adults, the holiday becomes more lighthearted with each passing year, due to the understanding that such monsters are fictional. Yet, there exists real monsters who know how to play on people’s fears, namely, hackers.
Granted, it’s highly unlikely that a child will visit your front door this Halloween dressed as a hacker. Nevertheless, the digital doors of your business, i.e., your website and network, are very likely to be visited on Halloween--and every day following. While many of these threats aren’t all that scary and are easily thwarted by security tools like a managed firewall and spam-blocking solution, a threat that’s specifically targeting a user has a greater chance of getting through. If such a hacker successfully breaches your security system, that’s when the nightmare of cyber extortion begins.
Cyber extortion comes in many different forms, and it can be very effective when executed properly. The hackers behind cyber extortion prefer using fear to incite unreasonable action from their victims, even if it means using frightful tactics like blackmail and deception.
Many of these methods work similarly to ransomware. Most ransomware will encrypt the files stored on a victim’s computer, and they will only provide a decryption key if the victim pays a fee. The idea here is to use fear to get users to hand over money (often in the form of untraceable cryptocurrency) in exchange for their precious files. This can be particularly devastating for businesses, as it means they could potentially lose access to all of their mission-critical data.
In the majority of ransomware cases, unless an organization has their data backed up, they’re out of luck and won’t be able to retrieve their data without paying the fine. Now that’s scary!
In an even scarier twist on an already sick scam, there are hackers who will steal information from businesses or individuals, and then offer an ultimatum; either pay up, or the sensitive data gets leaked to the Internet. This may be a worse fate because it allows other, more dangerous hackers to access the data and use it for nefarious purposes. This variety of hackers tend to ask somewhere between $250 to $1,200 for the safe return of the victim's data.
IC3, the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center, received a significant number of reports indicating that users who had data stolen through high-profile data breaches received extortion emails demanding that they pay a fee, or suffer the consequences. This data could be anything from personally identifiable information, like Social Security numbers, to financial information, like credit card numbers. In some cases, hackers would claim to have information that could cause catastrophic damage to victims’ personal lives, like personal photos and correspondences.
Although, we should point out that there’s virtually no way of guaranteeing that these hackers actually have the files they claim to have. They could just be blowing hot air and fishing for a response, hoping that you’ll be gullible enough to give in to their outlandish requests. However, for this same reason, it’s important that you don’t immediately pay the ransom. What guarantee do you have that they’ll give you the decryption key? The answer: none.
Basically, you should never, under any circumstances, give in to fear and pay the ransom offered by the hackers. Doing so doesn’t necessarily save your information (if they even have it) from being posted on the Internet. All it does is give in to the hacker’s demands by providing them with exactly what they want. Why should you give them this satisfaction, especially after the scare they’ve given you?
Instead, to prevent finding yourself at the mercy of a malicious hacker who’s extorting you for everything you’ve got, then we recommend giving Techworks Consulting, Inc. a call at (631) 285-1527 to get the proactive support your company can use to keep from paying the price. We can calmly walk you through the steps of dealing with a devious hacker, as well as offer ways you can shore up your network security in order to prevent any further data breaches.
This Halloween, be safe and make sure to celebrate what looks scary (but really isn’t), instead of finding yourself in a situation that’s actually scary, like being blackmailed by a hacker.
Ransomware is such a popular method of attack used by hackers that new variants of it pop up every few months. Among these is Petya, a nasty new ransomware that masquerades as an unsolicited resume in an organization’s email inbox. Don’t be fooled, though; the only work these hackers are looking for is to work you out of a couple hundred dollars.
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