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Ransomware Malware and its Detrimental Effects

On September 10, 2020

Ransomware defined: Ransomware is a type of malware that encrypts the victims files. The hacker then demands a ransom to return or restore access to the stolen data for a price. It could range from a few hundred dollars to thousands of dollars in Bitcoins.

The working of ransomware: One of the most common methods of a malware attack is phishing. It usually comes as an innocent email to a victim, probably as an attachment that appears genuine and trustworthy. If opened and downloaded, they take over access to the computer. One of the main effects of this is that they encrypt the files which cannot be decrypted without the help of a mathematical key. This key can be obtained only from the attacker for a price.

They literally hold the victim to ransom by claiming to disclose the private and/or sensitive information or sell it to an interested third party. The victims are then forced to do payment via use of cryptocurrency Bitcoin to recover access to their computer.

Targets of Ransomware: Ransomware gangs target both major businesses as well as the common user.

Some of the major targets are as under

  • Identity and password management platforms Auth0 and LastPass
  • Multiple personal and business banking portals
  • Microsoft Office365 accounts
  • Direct deposit and Medicaid billing portals
  • Cloud-based health insurance management portals
  • Numerous online payment processing services
  • Cloud-based payroll management services
  • Prescription management services
  • Commercial phone, Internet and Power Services
  • Medical supply services
  • State and local government competitive bidding portals
  • Online content distribution networks
  • Shipping and postage accounts
  • Shipping and postage accounts

Hacking the common man’s email : Everybody today has an email account and many with simple passwords. Such email accounts are sitting ducks for the hackers. A large number of transactions happen online right from buying groceries to electronic goods. People unwittingly store a lot of confidential information such as important passwords, bank details, investment details etc. in their inboxes without properly safeguarding them.

It is child’s play for the hacker to set up an alternate email account once they have accessed the control of your account and reset the password for the same by requesting a password reset email. It then uses information to take control of usernames and passwords to access your banking accounts etc.

Another most common scam is to take control of the email account in order to get contact addresses and then send a bogus email stating that you are stranded somewhere in a foreign country and have lost your passport, money etc. They then ask the contacts to transfer money into an account. It appears genuine as it goes from your personal email id with your signature.

How to protect your network from a Ransomware attack?

Ransomware is a growing threat and is evolving fast. Ransomware hackers resort to extortion to get the data they want. It detects files which contain crucial data. The companies end up paying huge amounts of money or risk losing all access to confidential data. Thus it is quite apparent how vital it is for businesses big or small to properly secure its infrastructure. In simple words, prevention is the best key to prevent such attacks by keeping your systems up to date, creating awareness among employees, maintaining backups, frequently changing passwords, and investing in a good cybersecurity solutions provider.

Infopercept helps secure your network not only against simple malware such as viruses but also provides protection against more alarming forms of malware. A dedicated SOC team of technical experts and security enthusiasts with good practical exposure, work diligently to cover all your security needs by providing tailor made solutions. You can be rest assured that your cybersecurity needs are in good hands while you focus on your businesses with absolute peace of mind.