What is Ransomware


Ransomware has a few forms in which it is seen but the best known is “Encrypting Ransomware”. This type of ransomware works by incorporating advanced encryption to lock the files on a users system. Once this is complete a payment is demanded from the victim in order for them to regain access to their files.

The recently outbreaks published in the mainstream media, such as WannaCry and NotPetya, are examples of Encrypting Ransomware.

Ransomware is not new, in fact the first instance was seen in 1989. This was known as the “AIDS Trojan”, this was spread via floppy disks and required the victim to send $189 to a post office box in Panama. Modern attacks, however, have changed with emerging technologies such as the Internet making the process much simpler.

With the rise of the digital currency, Bitcoin, and the advancements in encryption technologies, what was previously a minor threat to a business has now become a full on money making machine with it now being offered as a “service” via the Dark Web to any wanna-be cyber criminal.

Recent research has revealed that a company is hit by RansomWare every 40 seconds increasing from once every two minutes last year. During the first quarter of 2017, if your business suffered from an infection it was more likely to be ransomware than anything else with around 60% of malware payloads being ransomware.

At a recent event I was fortunate enough to sit in on a presentation by Cal Leeming of Lyons Leeming. If you have never heard of Cal then check him out here. In this presentation he showed the different methods which are employed in running a cyber attack against an individual or business, much of which is common knowledge. One of the interesting things which came out of this presentation is something we have always tried to impress on clients; he stated that you or your business will be compromised at some point regardless of what you do, all you can do is plan for the recovery. Many of the attendees to this presentation seemed quite shocked by this but if the best systems created by the government can be compromised then anything can.

With the rise of these threats now is the time to ask yourself what plans you have in place to recover from a Cyber Attack on your business, if you don’t know then now is the time to start planning.

If you would like some help then feel free to contact us and we can assist in building a plan to fit your business.

Rob has worked in the IT industry for over 20 years. Having ran a ISP back in the late 90's gave him experience of early internet services and the progression to where they are today. Today he focuses on delivering cost effective IT services to clients without the need for technical jargon. Outside of work, he can often be found cycling around Derbyshire or spending time with his family.

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