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Ransomware attacks have been in the news quite a lot lately – government agencies, large, medium and small-sized organisations, and even individuals have all fallen victim. Ransomware is a type of malware that stops users from accessing their entire system or personal files and a ransom payment is demanded in order to regain access.
Ransomware is created for either the criminal’s gain or to sell the service to other cybercriminals, which is known as Ransomware-as-a-Service or RaaS. Ransomware was first developed in the 1980s and hackers expected payment to be sent via snail mail. Today, cybercriminals expect payments via credit card or cryptocurrency in extremely large amounts.
Catching the ransomware virus
Ransomware can infect your organisation, system or computer in many different ways. Malicious spam, or malspam, is one of the most common ways a computer can become infected with malware, via an unsolicited email. The email might include PDF or Word attachments that are infected with malware and when they are opened the virus is unleashed. Links to malicious websites and other forms of infiltration have also become commonplace.
Malspam uses social engineering to appear as legitimate correspondence to trick people into opening attachments or clicking on links, by either posing as a friend, bank or well-known organisation. Hackers are also using social engineering to pose as official bodies, such as the FBI, to trick users into paying them to unlock their files.
Malicious advertising, or maladvertising, is where online advertising is used to distribute malware with very little user interaction required. Without even realising, websites, including legitimate sites, can direct users to criminal servers even if they don’t click on an advert. These servers collect details from user computers and their locations, then select the most appropriate malware to deliver – ransomware being the most common
Contact the team at CyberWhite if you would like to know more about RiskXchange, how you can gain valuable insights to increasing your security posture with RiskXchange’s solutions.
Call the team on 0191 562 3228.