Oops! Your files are encrypted! Pay the ransom.
Well, did you ever saw these words flash on your screen? If no, you must be thankful for this. When this happens to you, you may be perplexed about what has happened to your computer.
A simple explanation to your baffling is that your files are encrypted because your system was infected with ransomware.
This ransomware attack denies access to your computer and locks up your crucial data, photos, databases, and other files. Cyber thieves kidnap your data and demand a ransom to decrypt the archives or to allow access.
This malicious software is sophisticated designed to extort money from the victims.
Ransomware is a big business that has outreached and infected many computers across the globe. So none is safe until they take measures to “save” themselves. None. Not even you!
The best way to safeguard yourself from malware is to have complete knowledge about it because half knowledge is dangerous.
So, read our review about what is ransomware and recent ransomware attacks.
Ransomware attacks- Inside out
Ransomware ironically is one of the most complex types of malicious software with the most relaxed definition. Malware denies access to the victim’s computer system. They usually kidnap data by encrypting the files or even threatening to delete the crucial data until the victim pays the “ransom” or fees to the attacker.
Ransomware has been and is a nightmare for many organizations. It creates havoc by locking and encrypting your valuable files and demanding to shell out hefty amounts of money from your pocket to an anonymous cyber-criminal. Only then will you be able to regain access to your information. On the other hand, even worse will be that you may not have access also after you pay.
These cyber-attacks are widespread in today’s digital world. Criminal acts like phishing, data hacking, viruses, and many more make the cyber world an unsafe place.
Now, these ransomware attacks have become a tale of many companies. From small to big, every company is at equal risk of being infected with this malicious software. Almost all countries have been a victim of this. Cyber theft can target any business or organization from any industry.
The existence of ransomware can be dated as old as the AIDS virus in the late 1980s. It is a suitable metaphor, though; both infect the system to weaken it.
Earlier ransomware was called “crypto- viral extortion” because it was a sharp tool of Crypto-virology with immense damaging power, heightened over the years.
This attack aims to extort money in the form of bitcoin, online payments, or gadgets! The locked files are decrypted with a key by the attacker only after he receives the fee.
In many cases, the ransom demand has a deadline. If the victim fails to pay in that specified duration, the data is gone forever.
Now paying the ransom can be an impromptu act. Still, many able defending organizations, including FBI, recommend that if you pay the payment once, you invite more chances of re-attacks. Paying the ransom encourages the cyber- attackers because of which you can suffer repeated ransomware infections.
Some famous ransomware attacks are:
- WannaCry: a ransomware worm dared to attack over 250,000 computers of the mighty Microsoft.
- CryptoLocker: this kind of ransomware attacks that demanded cryptocurrency or bitcoins as the ransom. It was a unique kind. It infected the systems through malicious mail attachments. But the encrypting tool was released in 2014.
- NotPetya and BadRabbit: both were similar, like its cousin in the code and spreading exploits. However, unlike Bad Rabbit, Notpetya did not allow decryption key or regain access even after the ransom was paid. The Bad Rabbit was visible ransomware that affected many media companies of Russia and Ukraine.
It spread through a fake flash player update.
The bottom line of recommendation is to safeguard the business so that you do not let a malicious software attack or victimize you!
So make sure you gear up against these sophisticated ransomware attacks, because prevention is much easier than removing it.
It is advisable to know how ransomware works and what measures should be taken to avoid such events from extorting money or damaging your data files. Since you came so far with us, we give you a bonus tip that installing a security software helps to defend these attacks.
Now you would have gained all the insights about what ransomware is straight through your screen. We did not want to panic you but highlighting this was essential to dilute the impact of these cyber-attacks.
So beware and stay vigilant!
Huawei ban might see Phone Signal Blackouts across UK
If British Prime Minister Boris Johnson takes a U-Turn from allowing Chinese telecom firm Huawei in building a 5G network in UK, then almost all phone users living across Britain might witness a phone signal blackout for 2-5 days says Howard Watson, the Chief Technology and Information Officer for BT Group Plc.
It’s already a known fact that from the past two weeks there has been extreme pressure on Britain from Trump Administration to impose a ban on Huawei’s business in the region citing espionage, data steal, and national security concerns.
Therefore, the British Telecom Chief says that any tightening of restrictions on the Chinese vendor will lead to disruptions, higher prices for customers and delay in establishing 5G services in the region.
UK is not in a position to turn nations like US into adversaries by disobeying their sanctions on Huawei as they found the equipment to be unreliable and insecure.
Shutting down doors in next threats years is like inviting trouble as it might lead to disruptions in phone signals as the officials need to switch off the entire network for two days or more says Mr. Watson.
In January 2020, Britain proposed the usage cap to the use of Huawei equipment not over 35% by 2023.
And if, UK tightens the current guidelines, we need to spend hugely to build the infrastructure from zero which might invite constraints related to budget and spending.
Experts say that such decisions need at least 5 years time to be implemented without troubles as removing Huawei kits from the phone signaling pole masts within 2 years is like inviting a blackout of phone signals for 2 or more days- as the disruption time frame strictly depends on how deep the network has to be dug out to favor.
Data Breach on Clubillion Gambling app puts millions of users to risk
A popular gaming app titled Clubillion is in news for putting millions of users to risk due to a massive data leak. According to a research carried out by vpnMentor, the sensitive data related to Clubillion Gambling app built on the Elasticsearch Engine of AWS database was leaked because of a technical glitch throwing details like names, winning track, IP addresses, private messages in account, phone numbers and email IDs open to be accessed by hackers.
So, the security researchers of vpnMentor say that the exposed data could put all the users of the gaming app vulnerable to banking frauds and various cyber attacks such as phishing.
Technically, Clubillion is a free to play casino game dedicated to Android and iOS users where the gamers can avail free 30+ slots for free to try their luck.
It’s now revealed in the research that all the gaming related data hosted on Amazon Web Services was left exposed from the past few weeks to hackers because of a technical glitch. All the log action like when an individual player entered the game, won it, lose updated the account, created account was available to be accessed by anyone on the cloud platform.
It is estimated, that the database exposed over 200 million records daily, meaning around 50GB data was available to be accessed by hackers with no authentication.
According to sources reporting to Cybersecurity Insiders, players of Clubillion are located across the globe like in countries such as USA, UK, France, Israel, Germany, Spain, Italy, Netherlands, Australia, India, Poland, Romania, Vietnam, Lebanon, Indonesia, Philippines, Thailand, Austria, Hungry, Latvia, Canada, Brazil, Sweden and Russia.
Clubillion Data Breach could spell deep trouble to the future of the gaming app as it can lead to loss of trust among players, force EU’s data watchdog to reprimand it for breaking GDPR rules and make Google Play and Apple Store remove it from their respective platforms as it has failed to protect its user data securely.
Honeywell Says USB-Borne Malware That Can Cause Major ICS Disruption Are Significantly Increasing
Honeywell reports it’s seen a large rise in USB-borne malware over the past year, which can threaten industrial control systems (ICS).
This week Honeywell Industrial Cybersecurity released its USB Threat Report for 2020. The report is based on data collected by the company’s Secure Media Exchange (SMX) USB security platform from oil and gas, energy, chemicals , food, shipping, construction, aerospace, pulp and paper, and manufacturing companies across 60 countries across the Americas, Europe , and Asia over a 12 month period.
An analysis of the data showed that at least one threat was blocked by SMX at 45% of industrial sites using the product, up from 44% in the previous report published by the company in 2018.
While only 11 percent of the malware found on USB drives was specifically designed to target industrial systems — this represents a slight drop from the 14 percent identified in 2018 — 59 percent of the detected threats could cause significant disruption to industrial systems, compared to only 26 percent in 2018. On the other hand, the 11 percent becomes 28 percent if consideration is also given to ransomware, which has increasingly targeted operational technology (OT) systems.
These pieces of malware can launch DoS attacks, cause the operations management networks to lose sight and harm or interrupt key properties, says Honeywell.
Compared to 2018 , the company has seen an increase in the percentage of trojans , worms, rootkits and viruses, and a drop in potentially unwanted applications (PUA), non-targeted bots, spyware , adware and hacking instruments. Other commercial security solutions did not detect five per cent of all threats, Honeywell claimed.
RATs, backdoors, and droppers were the most common threats observed by the company.
“This makes logical sense: a sound strategy for an attacker is to gain a foothold via USB in industrial environments where network access is difficult, and then establish remote access and download new malware,” the company said in its report. “In these otherwise elusive environments, while ransomware can be effective via USB, establishing a persistent backdoor with command and control, more coordinated attacks may be attempted.”
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