2020’s Biggest Plague for Industries - Ransomware by Devin Smith


As time proceeded, ransomware increased exponentially and slowly its variations came to light in a different form of attacks. A ransomware attack is when a person is targeted with ransomware through any computer with the aid of a link in an email.

The conventional ransomware consists of a sophisticated effort such as a pre-planned or built infrastructure that is being used as a means to distribute advanced development techniques. It should be noted that offline encryption steps are also becoming popular as ransomware is taking advantage of system loopholes such as Microsoft’s CryptoAPI.

A report by Trustwave defines how ransomware has injected into everyone’s lives like a disease and has affected infrastructures globally. The image above is from the recent report that shows the widespread use of ransomware.

For businesses, holding steady is a real challenge because the attack has become advanced and sophisticated; challenging to predict and challenging to prevent.

Ransomware Targeting Industries

Security has been compromised across multiple sectors in the market, shaking economic situations where over a trillion security events have been analysed since the past year. The only commonality in the analyses was ransomware.

Ransomware attacks are a more common ground than the payment card thefts because cybercriminals completely change how they go about their malicious activities with an aim to get the biggest financial reward for the least amount of effort.

2019 alone has seen a 10% rise in email blackmailing where hackers have hacked the individual’s personal details and, in return, demanded a ransom in the form of cryptocurrencies. These attacks are usually successful because multiple entities choose to pay the ransom to stabilize their company’s financial position and privacy.

But in reality, it backfires. These ransoms cross over six-figure sums because cryptocurrency is demanded as a means of payment. It’s clever, simple and cannot be traced back. $27,000,000 was spent last year by a car company over the hack of a business email.

Retail and finance industries are the ones that have seen major hits because of their scale and prospects.

The retail industry faced breaches of CNP (card not present) data that is standard in e-commerce. Industries that did not directly face customers saw a mix of different attacks that directly stole money.

Predominant Breach Locations where It was the Easiest

More and more research was implicated on the loopholes that led to hacks and defamation. POS cash registers took a major hit as they utilized a magnetic stripe scanner to process cards with EMV chip readers. The operating system being used, Windows or Linux, has been a downfall as hackers crashed the OS and hacked details of those cards.

Additionally, the perpetrators behind the Sodinokibi ransomware threatened tosell the major database that was compromised through the global currency exchange Travelex right after a sophisticated malware attack breached the company offline and toppled its entire business during January. Travelex alone ended with the financial burden of paying out $2.3 million in Bitcoin.

Analysts state the ransomware perpetrators will initially post screenshots of the statistics only, to show as a sign of warning for victims that they want to pay their ransom on time and not to take the threat lightly. If the payment isn't made in time, the attackers follow through on their threat and make the confidential files available on the internet for public download.

However, no matter the major damage that may be carried out through ransomware, it is feasible to guard against it. Organisations have to ensure that networks are patched with intense encryption and kept up to date so that ransomware and other malware can not take advantage of known vulnerabilities.

The basics are constantly key; patching, passwords and policy. Making sure all software is running the modern-day steady version.

Organisations must additionally make certain that any ports that are not facing and dealing with the rest of the world are not doing it in a manner that'll help prevent attackers from breaching the network from inside in the first place. Multi-factor authentication and many others have to additionally be applied across the network, so if attacks do try to brute force logins to get around the network, there may be the last barrier to stop them.

Finally, organisations have to frequently back up the whole network – and root it offline – in case something bad happens, and a ransomware attack is successful, the network may be restored without having to recollect the concept of giving in to extortion.

About the Author:

Devin Smith is a tech-mech by profession and IT Security Analyst at Reviewsed. He is passionate into finding variant indulgence of the Tech World. He has studied Computer Science and now turning his exposure into the experience."

May 14, 2020


Hakin9 TEAM
Hakin9 is a monthly magazine dedicated to hacking and cybersecurity. In every edition, we try to focus on different approaches to show various techniques - defensive and offensive. This knowledge will help you understand how most popular attacks are performed and how to protect your data from them. Our tutorials, case studies and online courses will prepare you for the upcoming, potential threats in the cyber security world. We collaborate with many individuals and universities and public institutions, but also with companies such as Xento Systems, CATO Networks, EY, CIPHER Intelligence LAB, redBorder, TSG, and others.
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