Ransomware Outbreak II: How Attacks Happen
As the utilization of modern technology became prevalent around the world, cybercriminals began to take advantage of it to extort money from their victims. At present, there are numerous cases of malware attacks that crippled a lot of businesses. And one of the most popular malware out there in the open is ransomware – a malware that encrypts files and demands a ransom payment.
There are three stages in a ransomware attack: penetration, deployment, and crypto. In the penetration stage, cybercriminals execute malicious codes remotely. The malware then will exploit the vulnerabilities of an operating system or software application and do a lateral movement. After the penetration, the unpacking, environment preparation, and payload execution of ransomware follow. Then in the crypto stage, the malware will encrypt documents, delete known local backup files, and display ransom notes on your computer.
When the creators of the malware realized that they could make more money by distributing Ransomware kits on the dark web, it started to become a big business online. Cybercriminals are even giving their victims options to decrypt a selection of files for $30 or restore everything on the computer for $120. They also provide the option where the victims could get the ransomware itself removed for $20 or buy their immunity to this malware for $50.
It is certainly a threat to everyone, especially to businessmen. And to know more about this malware, here’s how ransomware attacks usually happen:
Most often than not, ransomware attacks are triggered by clicking malicious links or attachments that are sent through spam email campaigns. Many people are being victimized by this scheme because it is difficult to tell apart genuine emails from malicious ones these days. Not only do cyber criminals send spam emails that are grammatically correct with no misspelled words, but also attach different types of malware disguised as innocent-looking files. That being said, it is essential for Internet users to be vigilant at all times. That way they can spot these malicious emails before it’s too late.
The Exploitation of Security Vulnerabilities
When you fail to update and patch your computer systems and software applications, you are giving cybercriminals the chance to take advantage of your computer’s vulnerabilities. Software developers fix the security holes they overlooked before their software’s release through updates and patches. That being said, the more you keep your systems and applications up-to-date, the fewer vulnerabilities there are for cybercriminals to exploit. Aside from that, when malware such as ransomware is not sent through email, they often penetrate your computers using the security bugs in popular software applications.
Surfing the Internet is a common pastime for people these days. But whether you are browsing online for leisure or for business, it is crucial that you are cautious with what kind of websites you are accessing. Internet traffic can sometimes redirect you to malicious websites that can set off ransomware attacks. And oftentimes, there is no visible sign that an attack is taking place until after the damage is inflicted. These malicious websites are definitely threatening to internet users, especially because they can infect your computer even just by merely opening the page. Moreover, there are also times that cybercriminals inject malicious codes into legitimate websites to attack you. That being said, you should make sure that the websites you’re opening are secure and legitimate.
Aside from malicious emails, malicious websites, and the exploitation of security vulnerabilities, ransomware attacks could also happen through malvertising campaigns. In malvertising, cybercriminals buy ad spaces in trusted advertising webpages and networks, then inject malicious advertisements that are infected by malware. When you click these ads, a malicious code would begin running and infecting your computers with all kinds of viruses and malware. Some of these ads can even trigger a cybersecurity attack by merely opening a page without the need for any action on your part.
No one is exempted from cybersecurity threats like ransomware, but these malware attacks can be prevented with the help of IT specialists from . Aside from that, you can also boost your company’s defenses from these cybersecurity threats through from IT service providers like House of I.T. Protect your business from ransomware attacks with the help of IT professionals now.