Ransomware: Are You A Target?

Although it’s starting to be overshadowed by other types of malware, ransomware remains a significant feature on the cybercrime threat landscape. Ransomware developers are still very much active, continually reviewing and fine-tuning their strategies. As one potential group of targets becomes less profitable, attackers move on to find other, more lucrative targets. Could you be one of them?

Ransomware goes back to the earliest days of personal computing. It rose to public prominence in 2013, when a wave of encryption ransomware hit unsuspecting users. CryptoLocker and similar infections used military-grade encryption to render victims’ files unrecoverable without a decryption key. Initially, desktops were the primary targets; the following year, the first major wave of attacks aimed at mobile devices began. Attackers were already adapting.

Once the general public became aware of CryptoLocker and its ilk, ransomware became somewhat less lucrative. Users tightened security and anti-malware vendors adapted their products to take care of the new type of threat, making life harder for ransomware distributors. The developers behind the malicious code responded by raising their sights: instead of targeting individual users, ransoming household accounts and family photographs, they began targeting businesses and organisations. Even the UK’s National Health Service did not escape, with NHS systems seeing massive disruption due to a network-wide ransomware infection. By late 2017, analysts reported that around 35% of all small to medium-sized enterprises had been affected by ransomware attacks.

Once again, ransomware became a victim of its success. As awareness of the threat grew, so did users’ savviness. Outdated software got patched and upgraded; businesses rushed to put backups and recovery systems in place. The ransomware problem didn’t go away, but the attacks no longer netted the payouts they once had.

That begs the question: who will the next targets be? Experts speculate that ransomware developers are likely to look toward emerging markets such as Asia and South America. As new businesses spring up and existing enterprises expand, IT security will probably lag. The combination of weak protections and additional money could make these new markets a tempting target for ransomware developers in the future.

While developers may focus on new and different platforms and demographics, nobody should imagine that they are safe just because they don’t belong to the most recently targeted group. Anyone who neglects to make regular backups or fails to put a recovery plan in place can become a target, as can those who don’t install anti-malware programs, use outdated software, and skip security updates. If any of this describes your IT situation, you could be the next victim.

One Comment

SJ

I’ve received folllowing e-mail from my e-mail account, that has been hacked. Is it just a scam or actual RAT attack? Please suggest what to do. I am very much worried.

Hello!

I’m a programmer who cracked your email account and device about half year ago.
You entered a password on one of the insecure site you visited, and I catched it.
Your password from ………….. (my mail ID) on moment of crack: 6tcjgfke

Of course you can will change your password, or already made it.
But it doesn’t matter, my rat software update it every time.

Please don’t try to contact me or find me, it is impossible, since I sent you an email from your email account.

Through your e-mail, I uploaded malicious code to your Operation System.
I saved all of your contacts with friends, colleagues, relatives and a complete history of visits to the Internet resources.
Also I installed a rat software on your device and long tome spying for you.

You are not my only victim, I usually lock devices and ask for a ransom.
But I was struck by the sites of intimate content that you very often visit.

I am in shock of your reach fantasies! Wow! I’ve never seen anything like this!
I did not even know that SUCH content could be so exciting!

So, when you had fun on intime sites (you know what I mean!)
I made screenshot with using my program from your camera of yours device.
After that, I jointed them to the content of the currently viewed site.

Will be funny when I send these photos to your contacts! And if your relatives see it?
BUT I’m sure you don’t want it. I definitely would not want to …

I will not do this if you pay me a little amount.
I think $850 is a nice price for it!

I accept only Bitcoins.
My BTC wallet: 1HQ7wGdA5G9qUtM8jyDt5obDv1x3vEvjCy

If you have difficulty with this – Ask Google “how to make a payment on a bitcoin wallet”. It’s easy.
After receiving the above amount, all your data will be immediately removed automatically.
My virus will also will be destroy itself from your operating system.

My Trojan have auto alert, after this email is looked, I will be know it!

You have 2 days (48 hours) for make a payment.
If this does not happen – all your contacts will get crazy shots with your dirty life!
And so that you do not obstruct me, your device will be locked (also after 48 hours)

Do not take this frivolously! This is the last warning!
Various security services or antiviruses won’t help you for sure (I have already collected all your data).

Here are the recommendations of a professional:
Antiviruses do not help against modern malicious code. Just do not enter your passwords on unsafe sites!

I hope you will be prudent.
Bye.

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