Ransomware Hits Again
It seems the situation is not getting any better because there are more and more major companies and networks reporting to have been victims of ransomware attacks.
The most recent one is Malaysia’s leading media company, Media Prima, a company that runs TV, radio channels, newspapers and digital media. In the past four days, its computer systems have been breached and infected with ransomware. The attackers are demanding 1 000 bitcoins, which is around US$6.45 million.
How Does Ransomware Work?
When a ransomware attacks occurs, it encrypts all your system and your files until you pay the ransom. You get instructions on the screen on how to do it. The payment is done in Bitcoin. Many pay he ransom in hopes of retreating their data.
However, usually there is a timer attached to the Ransomware lock that ticks down to when the files become lost forever. Yes, this happens too. Ransomware can start destroying all the keys required for decryption if you don’t pay the ransom by given deadline.
Aside from offsite backups, there are no alternatives available today to recover the files without paying the ransom – and once the keys are destroyed, the files are gone forever.
Latest information show that this attack was most probably designed specially to target Media Prima. We don’t have the exact information on whether Media Prima’s data has been breached, and whether the media group would be suffering financial losses due to the ransomware attack.
Some sources claim that Media Prima’s office email has been affected but that the company has migrated the email to another system. For now, Media Prima is not considering paying the ransom.
Businesses: Ransomware’s New Target
Ransomware attacks are getting more agile, complex and widespread. They have increasingly started targeting businesses of all sizes in all sectors, rather than consumers.
One of the attackers’ most common and favorite ways to spread ransomware is by sending malicious emails to employees of the company. Once they open the email or sometimes even click on the link in the email, the ransomware starts automatically downloading in the background.
The ease with which it can be shared, and spread is precisely one of the reasons why ransomware is becoming more and more popular among cyber criminals. Attacks have been spread to mobile devices through the help of different banking Trojans.
We cannot emphasize and highlight enough the importance of individual companies educating their own employees on how to identify a ransomware attack before becoming a victim.
Luck is not something you should rely on when it comes to ransomware because it can happen to any company. The consequences can be potentially catastrophic, because such an attack could destroy business if offline backups haven’t been stored.
Ransomware Turning Into a Business
The ransomware distribution techniques are running like a business today. Developing, buying, selling, trading and distributing different ransomware variants enabled hackers to create micro-economies that turned into a global network. The main reason for this is the fact that hackers realized they can get huge sums of money this way.
Protect Yourself in Time
The most important thing to keep in mind is that you should not wait for ransomware to attack you or your business. Protect your corporate network as well as your home devices in time. Install a necessary antivirus solution and enhance your protection with an anti-malware solution, that will serve as an additional layer of your protection.
Together, they will detect any suspicious behavior on your devices and block it immediately, keeping your data safe from anyone who wants to invade your privacy and keeping you from becoming another victim.