Ransomworms, the next scary warning of cybersecurity in 2017


Cybercriminals never stop innovating.

As ransomware has become a big business for cybercriminals nowadays, the existing threats are evolving and new ones with more deadly functions keep emerging in the market. Microsoft reported that a new type of ransomware, Ransom:Win32/ZCryptor.A, has the power to spread like a worm. It leverages removable and network drives to propagate itself and affect more users. The self-propagating behavior of this new variant has also earned it the name “ransomworm” (i.e. ransomware worm). Continue reading

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7 Facts You Must Know About Ransomware


Have you ever thought that someday someone will hack your files and data? As the most sophisticated malware program, ransomware is rapidly becoming a popular cyber attack as well as a top security threat for individuals and organizations. It installs covertly on a victim’s computer, encrypts all kinds of valuable data or blocks the infected system, and demands payment for releasing the data or system. There are ways to defend yourself and your company, and below are the 7 facts you must know about ransomware before you can do that.

1. Originated in late 1980s

Many people assume ransomware as a newly born malware program, but it is actually dated back in late 1980s. The earliest known ransomware was “AIDS” (also known as “PC Cyborg”), devised by Joseph Popp in 1989. It displayed a message claiming that user’s license to use a certain software had expired, encrypted file names on the hard drive, and then requested the user to pay US$189 to “PC Cyborg Corporation” in order to obtain a repair tool to unlock the system. It encrypted the file names using symmetric cryptography.

2. 76% of ransomware come from spam

According to a research conducted by Trend Micro, 76% of ransomware attacks come from spam or spammed links that are sent to enterprise and end users. Email is often a trusted source of information for many people but it is also a favorite ransomware distribution tool for attackers. Ransomware infection can happen with a single click on links or attachments in an email. It becomes very clear that one of the important actions companies need to do is to install stronger spam filters.

3. Ransomware-as-a-Service (RaaS) exists

The prevalence of ransomware is partly due to the rise of a trend known as “ransomware-as-a-service”. Starting from early 2015, cybercriminals set up ransomware platforms that performed all the necessary functions for the crime, reveals a McAfee Labs report. The coders rent out this network or sell ransomware to the cybercriminals who have little technical know-how, and get paid a commission whenever there is a successful ransom. The ability to buy ransomware for very cheap prices means that anyone can become a hacker.

4. Ransomware isn’t only attacking Windows

Cybercriminals are developing ransomware for a wide range of platforms and systems as they know that valuable data doesn’t just sit on Windows PCs these days. There have already been instances of Linux ransomware that targets web servers and encrypts mission critical web properties, as well as variants created for mobile devices. Storing data in the cloud won’t help because ransomware can attack cloud drives mapped to local machines.

5. Ransomware business has shifted focus from consumers to corporations

Years ago ransomware attacker’s main source of money came from consumers. At that time ransomware was still a phenomenon that randomly hit individual users on the Internet, blocking access to their computers or encrypting their data. But since the assets and data in corporations and organizations are much more valuable, cybercriminals have been gradually shifting the focus from consumers to corporations, with the aim to get as much ransom as possible.

6. Ransomware is not only an endpoint problem

In the past ransomware was an endpoint or client-side problem as the majority of attacks focused on user’s desktops and laptops. However, recent attacks show an increasing tendency of cybercriminals targeting server-side applications, including databases, shared file systems and customer management systems. From the attacker’s point of view, it makes perfect sense because a the business data on a server has a lot more value in comparison to a desktop or laptop.

7. Anti-virus isn’t enough for ransomware

Ransomware is fearsome because it has been an unbreakable program. Once infected, your choices are either pay the money or lose your data for good. When considering preventive measures against ransomware, it is important to know that relying on anti-virus alone doesn’t work out. Nowadays the advanced forms of ransomware can easily bypass any preventive system by ensuring the system won’t be able to detect the threats. You have to be proactive in order to avoid its trap. Start your anti-ransomware protection plan with comprehensive data backup today.

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5 Must Have Features in a Cloud Backup Solution


Data backup is one of the most useful technologies in cloud computing. Comparing with on-premise backup, cloud backup is simple, affordable, and doesn’t require investment in infrastructure. As the owner of a small business, are you looking for a cloud backup solution for backing up your company’s Microsoft Exchange Server, Microsoft SQL Server, VMware vSphere ESXi, Windows System, as well as files in desktops and laptops? Here are 5 must have features in a cloud backup solution that keep your business’s important data safe and accessible.

1. Support of wide range of backup destinations

For the benefit of data redundancy and restore flexibility, a good cloud backup solution should allow users to back up their data to multiple destinations sequentially or concurrently, including any preferred public cloud storage such as Amazon Cloud Drive, Dropbox, Google Cloud Storage, Microsoft Azure and Microsoft OneDrive, and also local drive, network share, and FTP/SFTP server. This gives you multiple layers of protection.

2. Top-notch data security

In the past, a number of cloud-based solution providers failed to offer complete data security, giving hackers and intruders opportunities to access business companies’ crucial information.
Managed users access, authentication, and encryption are essential to protecting sensitive information. As the highest level of security measure, data should be encrypted by default with AES 256-bit truly randomized encryption key, especially when users are backing up to public cloud.

3. High speed backup and recovery

Backup is commonly perceived as a time and resources consuming process. A complete cloud backup solution should be designed with advanced technologies to make backup a fast and efficient process. For example, block-level incremental backup technology breaks down files into blocks so that only changed blocks are backed up each time; and multi-threading utilizes computing power of multiple CPU cores for creating multiple backup and restore threads to turbocharge the backup and restore performance.

4. Unlimited retention of data versions

Historical versions of business data are crucial if the more recent versions are lost. Users should be allowed to define flexible versioning rules using custom retention policy setup. It would be best that users can set multiple daily, weekly, monthly, and/or yearly retention policies to flexibly suit various compliance and regulatory needs.

5. Reliable technical support

Technical issues are one of the common painpoints in every business’s daily operations. If you or your employees could not restore a critical file after accidental deletion, the cost could be huge.
That’s why a complete cloud backup solution must be coupled with a professional technical support service. It’s important to review the available customer support options prior to signing up for it.
A good service offers email support, telephone support, and even live text chat to help you troubleshoot. It would be better if the solution provider can provide a knowledgebase where users can easily find the FAQs and the resolutions.


Do you have any advice for cloud backup? Share your thoughts with us in the comments.

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