Dangerous ransomware and how can businesses protect themselves
Ransomware goes back in the eighties, more precisely 1989, the year of its origination. Since then it has been slowly growing, and during the last year, there was a tremendous increase of ransomware attacks like never before. Basically, regardless their increased sophistication, they are constant in their overall concept which is to encrypt important data and then request a ransom to decrypt it. This is also the origin of the name – Ransomware.
The developers of these ransomware are hardly ‘small thieves’. They are highly professional people, smart, and posses an extensive experience in writing malicious code. Such a group from Russia put together the code for the ‘Maktub Locker’ – a ransomware with a beautifully designed interface, which encrypts the files on the affected computer and demands ransom for decryption. The amount of the ransom increases as time passes. This malware gets to the affected desktop as an email attachment, with an .scr extension , attached to an email which claims to be an updated ‘Terms of Service’ document.
An other ransomware which is currently investigated by the FBI is called SIL/Samas and it infects whole networks, not only personal desktops. This sophisticated malware is using a security program available for the public, by scanning vulnerable versions of the Jboss software which are followed by a malware attack on the vulnerable network. Here too, a ransom is requested to get back the access before it starts spreading through the whole network.
A very unique and original method of infecting computers was discovered in March 2016 by the security researchers Malwarebytes and Trend Micro, when they found ads which contained malicious software in legitimate online web networks like AOL and The BBC, among other major entertainment and news websites. These ads were suppose to release the malware into the websites visitors computers, lock their files and demand ransom for re-open them.
The most concerning fact though is the recently detection of malware in Macs.
So, lets see what can we do to maximize our protection and reduce the risks. .
First and most important – we must be aware of emails received and very cautious when getting attachments. We also can try the blocking of extensions for incoming files via email, and always scanning zip files. Keep backups of our content and install the best malware protection software. It is also very important to always perform software\applications upgrade because sometimes they contain improvements in the security features.
In addition to this, we must get the rescue manual on Ransomware which is downloadable in pdf format and contains practical information and instructions regarding how to keep safe during these crazy times of increased hackings.