Ransomware: An increasingly bigger threat to Data Security

Cybersecurity

Ransomware: An increasingly bigger threat to Data Security

Ransomware is a class of software that infects the system from unsafe links of e-mails, messages websites. These grasp control over the files in a system and asks for monetary ransoms in return for leaving the data unchanged. These are run by hackers who attempt to seek money from random internet users.

According to an FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) report, a total of $8.9 million was lost due to ransomware attacks in 2019. This figure is $5.3 million greater than the losses incurred in 2018. This year also the incidences of ransomware attacks are on the rise. Here we will discuss 8 ransomware that has grabbed the attention of cybersecurity researchers in recent times:

  • Abaddon: The ransomware attackers send e-mails to a large number of users over the internet network. The mails contain messages like “Your new Photo” or “Do you like my photo?” with a winking smiley face. It is vast e-mail spam as the hackers have sent over 1 million e-mails to organizations in the US over 1 week. They demand a ransom of $800 or more for the revival of the attacked data.
  • Agelocker: It makes use of the “Age” encryption tool made by Google to gain access to the user’s files. The attackers demand their ransom via e-mail, asking for around $64,500 to decode the user’s affected data. According to experts, it is still unclear how the attackers gain access to the victim’s system.
  • Conti: It is similar to ransomware called “Ryuk.” Its advanced features allow it to simultaneously encrypt 32 files over corporate networks. It can gain access over the Windows Restart Manager, alerting the user time and again to save their data if left open and unsaved. This way, it maximizes the chances of damage.
  • ThiefQuest: A new ransomware is a hidden danger inside a pirated Mac OS software mainly spread over torrent and other online portals. It has got advanced features other than just encrypting files. It installs a keylogger, a reverse shell, and it tries to delete cryptocurrency wallet-related files. The attackers demand a ransom of around $50 within 3 days. Some researchers from SentinelOne have developed a free decryptor to help its victims.
  • WastedLocker: According to experts, it is a product of Evil Corp Group. It attempts to target the Fortune 500 companies of the US by gaining access to its file servers and cloud networks. A ransom of multimillion dollars is demanded by its hackers
  • Try2Cry: It has similar behavior to the Spora ransomware and the Andromeda (Gamarue or Wauchos) botnet malware. It is a decryptable malware related to the “Stupid” ransomware family (from Github). It makes use of Rijndael, the predecessor of AES, for encrypting files. It makes use of infected USB flash drives and windows shortcuts to spread into a system.
  • FileCry: Possibly deriving its name from “WannaCry,” its behavior is straightforward, and its decryption is freely available. The attackers typically demand a ransom of 0.035 bitcoins for decryption.
  • ArisLocker: It infects a system via e-mail attachments, links, and external hard disks. It makes use of the AES-256 encryption algorithm. It threatens the sufferer not to inform anyone else the data will be permanently deleted.

The attackers demand a ransom of $75 in bitcoins to be paid within a week, or it will be increased to $500. Ransomware is becoming a bigger threat to the data security of both an individual and an organization. Efforts should be taken to spread awareness regarding these issues, resulting in big financial and information losses. Also, experts suggest that the ransom demanded by the attackers should never be paid as it can double the recovery cost.

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