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Ransomware a Form of Modern Extortion

 

Ransomware hackers request for your money to release your data.

Ransonware grew in popularity in 2012, when many be agencies and government websites were attacked. Starting from around 2012 the use of ransomware scams has grown internationally. According to wikipedia in June 2013, vendor McAfee released data showing that it had collected more than double the number of samples of ransomware that quarter than it had in the same quarter of the previous year. CryptoLocker was particularly successful, procuring an estimated US $3 million before it was taken down by authorities, and CryptoWall was estimated by the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to have accrued over US $18m by June 2015.

The majority none “techy” people are not aware of this dangerous Malware that will make you want to cry(“wannacry” pun intended). What is Ransonware?

What is a Ransomware ?

Ransomware

Hackers encrypt your system, and request for your money.

Ransomware is a type of malicious software (malware) encrypted through cryptograpghy that threatens to publish the victim’s data or perpetually block access to it unless a ransom is paid. While some simple ransomware may lock the system in a way which is not difficult for a knowledgeable person to reverse, more advanced malware uses a technique called cryptoviral extortion, in which it encrypts the victim’s files, making them inaccessible, and demands a ransom payment to decrypt them. These ransom are usually paid in Bitcoin or Ukash that way the perpetrator can not be traced.

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How You May Become a Victim

Victims may get affected through a downloaded file(Trojan) a seemingly useful file, not knowing the file comes with the malware, another way this malware get to it victim is by downloading an email attachment. Some don’t work like that, WannaCry Ransomware is likely the most dangerous if all ransomware, this is because it doesn’t need to be downloaded by the victim. WannaCry was so popular in first and second quarter of 2017. It is automatically transferred from system to system through user interaction. Microsoft system are prone to these attacks, the company in a bid to keep such attacks at bay have constantly releases patch files for their windows operating systems, user must download and update their window version regularly to avoid being a victim. Another form of ransomware, called NotPetya, targeted Ukraine later that year and spread globally, affecting businesses as large as Maersk and WPP.

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A Form Of Extortion

A typical screen shot of a system attacked by Ransomware.

Like we have seen so far, Hackers use ransomware to take over your valuable files and request a ransom, it is practically a cyber kidnapping.

Ransomware is the 21st century’s answer to extortion and the number of cyberattacks involving the malicious software is surging, according to the chief executive of McAfee.

“It is today’s modern day extortion, and it’s something that criminals are going to continue to drive because they can make money, and that’s something that we’re very concerned about,” Christopher D. Young told CNBC on Tuesday 27/2/18 .

The U.S. and Britain have accused North Korea and Russia of being behind the WannaCry and NotPetya cyber attacks, respectively.

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The Industry Fight Back

McAfee’s Young acknowledged that the cyber security industry was better equipped in 2018 to fight ransomware threats. He said that ransomware was a “constant game that we’re working against.”

“As an industry, we are stopping a lot more ransomware attacks today than we were in previous years, but the rate of growth in ransomware has been exponential,” he said.

“But we are better at spotting the attacks, we’re using behavioral tools to help us identify when a ransomware attack might be happening.”

 

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