Posts Tagged ‘ransomware’

Anti-Ransomware Tips: It May Not Be A Real Attack, So Check!

Friday, August 4th, 2017


Ransomware makers are cunning, exploitative, and deceptive. And that’s exactly why, if a ransomware message pops up on your screen, you should first take it with a grain of salt.

One of the latest trends in 2017 is not to even infect your system with ransomware. Instead, cybercriminals will just tell you they’ve compromised your system, and a place for you to deposit the ransom money.

And it’s worked. According to a recent Citrix Study which polled 500 U.K businesses, 200 of these reported being “bluffed” by a cybercriminal, with nearly two out of three forking over a payment.

The cost of each ransomware bluff was a whopping $16,000 at today’s exchange rate, with several victims playing double that amount—$32,000—to decrypt files that weren’t even encrypted in the first place!

The study also concluded a worrying trend – one that is profoundly altering the landscape of operating a business anywhere in the world.


Harrowing Messages from Ransomware Victims

Friday, June 9th, 2017


If you needed any evidence that ransomware makers have no shame, here it is. The creators of one ransomware strain set up a ‘technical support’ page for their victims—and the messages they have left are truly distressing.

A father with little cash, robbed of his baby’s pictures; a non-profit that raises money for curing blood cancer, pleading for a refund; a housecleaning business set up by maids who can’t afford to pay the ransom.

The site not only shows victims pleading directly with the ransomware makers. It also shows an exceptionally rare event; the ransomware makers speaking back to the victims, giving a glimpse into their psychology.

Warning: Confronting.


Why WCry Marks a World Turning Point

Monday, May 29th, 2017


I’m going to say something controversial, so brace yourself—the WCry ransomware was a good thing.

Now make no mistake about it. Ransomware is evil. It’s used to literally hold people’s lives hostage. Just like a tornado, it destroys businesses and lives. But it’s far worse, because people make ransomware…and knowing what it does, deliberately inflict it upon other people.

If you haven’t heard of the WCry ransomware (A.k.a. WannaCry or WannaCrypt), you must have been living under a rock. Just over a week ago, the WCry ransomware worm attacked more than 200,000 computers in 150 countries.

And when it did, something changed.


Brute Force Ransomware Costs County $100k & Risks Lives

Tuesday, April 11th, 2017


After the failing to score $18k from shutting down hospitals and endangering lives, the makers of the Samsam ransomware have decided brute force is best.

Going back to basics, they’ve begun scanning for open ports on people’s servers, and conducting forced password cracking attacks. Once they’ve smashed through, they drop their infamous Samsam ransomware—an extortion software—on the system, and wait for payment.

And when they hit the Bingham County government servers in Idaho with their brute force attack, it may as well have been “Bingo” County.

Keeping in line with their “threatening lives” policy, the makers of Samsam struck the county’s 911 emergency systems, shutting down the infrastructure needed to send ambulances, police and firefighters to people literally in mortal peril.


The Dark Web Knight Rises? The Anti Ransomware Batman

Wednesday, February 8th, 2017

Is there an anti ransomware batman out there?

Remember how we predicted in 2017 that with law enforcement unable to do anything about ransomware, vigilantes would rise up to fill the void?

Well, it’s already happened. Just two days ago, cyber-vigilantes took down 10,000 underground websites on the Dark Web. Many of these sites were black markets for weapons, drugs, illegal pornography, and downloading ransomware.

With the mass take down, over 100 Bitcoin scams, 1000+ carding and counterfeit sites, and multiple Bitcoin escrow and wallet sites have also been terminated.

For a list of our other predictions for 2017, here’s our article. To hear more about the landmark Dark Web hacking, read on.


Over 70% of Washington DC’s CCTV Hacked Before Trump Inauguration

Wednesday, February 1st, 2017


Scant days before President Trump’s inauguration, the majority of Washington DC’s surveillance cameras were hacked by criminals in a massive cyber attack.

The infection downed 123 of its 187 network video recorders, each controlling four cameras each. And the perpetrator’s virus and motivations aren’t hard to guess.


Los Angeles College Pays Hackers $28,000 Ransom for Data

Friday, January 20th, 2017


Last week, the Los Angeles Community College District’s (LACCD) computer systems were held for a whopping $28,000 ransom—and because they paid, the ransomware makers are now that much richer.

Once again, the whole thing could have been avoided with some cheap $250 backup software. You can almost hear the campus management kicking themselves from here.

The worst part is the justification the LACCD gave for the ransomware payout—and the consequences for other educational institutions in the future.


Koolova: The World’s First ‘Nice’ Ransomware?

Friday, January 6th, 2017


Every time I write an article on a new form of ransomware, I’m always surprised. And Koolova, the latest ransomware to hit the scene, does not disappoint.

Last year saw a host of bizarre ransomware variants. There was Popcorn Time, which let you infect two users to get a free decryption key. Jigsaw, which played out like having a Saw-movie villain on your computer. And the Cerber ransomware, which hijacked people’s speakers to talk to them directly.

So you’d think the ransomware makers had run out of tricks. But they forgot to mention something.

Apparently, Jigsaw has a brother. His name is Koolova, and he’s concerned that you might fall under his brother’s influence.


The Cost of Ransomware in 2016: $1 Billion and Rising.

Monday, November 21st, 2016
 growth in ransomware families

If you’re reading this, there’s a 50/50 chance you’ve been hit by ransomware this year already, according to an Osterman Research Study.

Since last year, ransomware attacks have more than doubled, jumping from 23k to a staggering 56k. And to make matters worse, the average ransom has skyrocketed from $294 to $679.

Translation? Malware is hitting twice as often and twice as hard.

For the full brief on the 2016 malware menace, read our rundown. And remember, the only sure-fire way to protect your data from ransomware is a strong backup strategy!


Don’t plug it in! Malware-infected USB sticks in your Mailbox

Monday, October 3rd, 2016

Infected USB drives are making the rounds

It’s like the tale of Pandora’s box. Infected USB sticks are finding their way into people’s mailboxes—and curiosity is making them look inside.

The Australian Police Force is being flooded with phone calls from residents of the Melbourne suburb of Pakenham. Upon connecting the infected USB sticks to thier computers, they’ve been assailed with extremely harmful malware.