Ransomware on the Rise

– Ransomware on the RiseRansomware has been making big news lately. What is ransomware? The crooks scramble (encrypt) your files so you can’t use them, and then demand money to unlock your files. It means your photos are still there, but if you try to view them you can’t, and the same with all your documents and spreadsheets.

There is another variation where the malware locks your PC so you can’t use it until you pay a ransom to the criminals. The payments must be made in Bitcoins, which is a digital currency that is very hard to trace.

They hit both businesses and individuals, and now even target hospitals, police departments, and schools, to name a few.

The main method of attack these criminals use is email.  This would be through an email attachment or link in an email that leads to a malicious website.  It could also be through a malicious website itself.

  • A. Email- The criminals are constantly trying to find ways to trick people into clicking on emails with malicious attachments or on links that lead to malicious web pages. It could be a fake email saying your bank account is frozen until you confirm account details for them. It could also be fake invoices, like an Apple itunes “invoice” saying there was a problem with the charges and you had to go to a website to correct the error.
  • B. Malicious Websites- Forbes says 30,000 websites are hacked each day. Often, businesses don’t even know their website was compromised and visitors are lulled into a false sense of security because they are not frequenting a known malicious website.

A lot of vendors are adding ransomware protection to their security products, but no one product can address all of the threats current and future. The layered approach is best.

That’s why it is increasingly important to have either a malicious website blocker or more than one security product running at a time plus an excellent spam filter & more. The idea is defense in depth.

Contact ASIS, LLC at 732-549-6030 for specific solutions for your business


Adobe issues emergency update to Flash after ransomware attacks
Reuters – Fri Apr 8, 2016 3:04pm EDT Related: Tech
Flash Bug hits PC, Mac, Chrome & Linux so all these systems are vulnerable to ransomware unless updated –don’t even have to click on a link to get attacked (“drive by download”)

‘Ransomware’ crime wave growing
by David Fitzpatrick and Drew Griffin @CNNTech April 4, 2016: 6:14 PM ET
Article profiles a school system that paid $10,000 to unlock their computers and mentions hospitals & businesses hit. “At a recent cybersecurity conference in San Francisco, dozens of software companies advertised solutions for ransomware but only a few acknowledged success. “ There is not currently one tool that can catch it all