Not My Data! Fending Off Ransomware

Not My Data! Fending Off Ransomware

Make no mistake about it, 2017 was the year of ransomware. It achieved mainstream notoriety due to the mass-spread of ransomware like WannaCry that targeted institutions, companies, and hospitals alike!

By holding organizations hostage over their confidential data, ransomware coerced people to pay hundreds (and in some cases, thousands) of dollars! Continue reading

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5 Lesser Known Facts about Ransomware

5 Lesser Known Facts about Ransomware

Ransomware is a grim reality of the world we live in today. Individuals and institutions have the power to hold big companies hostage for large sums over files and data. Given the mass-spread of ransomware like WannaCry, it’s important that we educate ourselves on the dangers of this digital terror before we fall victim to it! Continue reading

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CloudBacko’s Crystal Ball – Predicting Data Breaches for 2018

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Given the state of the industry in 2017, we think it’s fair to say that data breaches will become more of a regular occurrence next year. With hackers coming up with smarter ways to get around digital defenses, your IT team has its work cut out for them in 2018!

While it’s nearly impossible for anyone to single out the next big threat, we can, however, look at the current state of things to better prepare ourselves for the future. Here are the three things we at CloudBacko predict will happen over the course of the year. Continue reading

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How to Deal With Ransomware Attacks

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The increasing frequency of ransomware attacks on hospitals, public utility companies, financial institutions, and various other private and public entities is a major source of concern.

Reports show that ransomware attacks are rapidly on the rise and 2016 saw a 50% increase in ransomware attacks over the previous year.  Continue reading

7 Quick Facts you must know about WannaCry

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If you did not know ransomware before, you must have at least heard of it by now. On 12 May 2017, a ransomware attack called WannaCry went on a rampage around the world. Experts are calling this incident the biggest cyber attack in history, as WannaCry had infected more than 230,000 computers in over 150 countries in just a single weekend. Victims include Britain’s National Health Service, Nissan Motors, Spain’s Telefónica, FedEx and many more, leading to PCs and data being encrypted and held for ransom.

What is WannaCry, why is it infecting computers worldwide, and how to defend against it? Find out the 7 quick facts you must know now. Continue reading

7 Facts You Must Know About Ransomware

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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.

Do you want to know how to defend against ransomware? Check out this FREE eBook on 7 Essential Best Practices for Ransomware Protection now!