In Cyber Security, IT Advice

Experts have been studying ransomware heavily over the past few years and have discovered that there are now more than 120 separate families of ransomware.

This year has seen higher levels than ever before, with researches estimating a massive 3,500% increase in the criminal use of net infrastructure that helps run ransomware campaigns. code-707069_1280

What’s driving this rise?

Ransomware is a virus that leads to a lot of money being stolen very quickly from the victim of the attack. It doesn’t take long for cyber thieves to copy these methods and there has been an increase in kits that help these law breakers snare their victims.

Source code for ransomware is freely available online, which means anybody can share and use the code used to create these viruses. It means that even amateur coders can cash in on this money demanding ransomware.

Ransomware is one of the easiest viruses to make, it’s relatively low risk for the criminals to use and the rewards/return on investment are very high. It has become one of the most popular pieces of software that is built by unexperienced cybercriminals.

How does ransomware work?

Ransomware is a malicious software that scrambles data on a PC. It then asks for a payment in order to restore the data to its original, useable state. The costs that are set up to unlock this data vary, but as an estimate, it costs individuals hundreds and companies thousands of pounds of ransom.

Why is the virus getting through to so many people?

 

Tomer Weingarten, founder of security company SentinelOne says: “Traditional anti-virus software is not effective in dealing with these types of attacks”.

 

Gangs are using both well-known techniques but also novel technical tricks to catch out victims. Cybercriminals are placing the software in adverts, not just in email links and they use specialised “crypters” and “packers” that make files look benign.

 

As always, SCS Technology recommend that you keep your anti-virus software updated and always be careful with what you click on. For any help with your IT equipment, please contact the team on 0800 9520652.

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