Ransomware complaints which recived by the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center received and these are just reported complaints
NortonLifeLock recorded a 35 percent increase in the first quarter 2021 with 537,137 ransomware detections out of a total of 919 million total cyberthreats blocked by Norton.
With a spate of staggering attacks throughout 2020, Ransomware has definitely taken center stage in any conversation about cyber security. Ransomware attacks are one of the most lucrative options for cyber criminals.
In a span of just two years, ransomware attacks increased 15 times from 2015 to 2017 resulting in a total of $5 billion in losses. This included all losses stemming from ransom paid by businesses as well as productivity losses and all the financial cost of data recovery, fines and more.
Nearly 45 percent of all ransomware attacks are targeted at healthcare organizations. In August and September of 2020, 57% of ransomware attacks reported to the federal Multi-State Information Sharing and Analysis Center involved schools, compared to 28% of all reported ransomware incidents from January through July.
There is a good reason behind this trend. Healthcare, government agencies and essential services are sectors where these kinds of attacks cannot just result in financial and reputation losses for the organization involved, but actually result in a loss or significant impact on civilian lives. The most recent and palpable example of this can perhaps be seen in the Colonial Pipeline attack that resulted in near stampede to stock up gas – thanks to the hysteria generated by the media.
The recent spate of attacks has also resulted in increased demand for cyber insurance coverage. According to an April report from Fitch Ratings, total premiums for cyber insurance coverage clocked in at $2.7 billion in 2020, a 22% increase over the previous year, and is expected to go up further in 2021. (CNN Business)
How does Ransomware Work?
Ransomware attacks are fairly straightforward in their operational mechanism. The hackers simply gain access to the sensitive data stored on your system, encrypt it, and ask you for a ransom in exchange for the decryption key.
The attacks can happen when a user unwittingly downloads malware that is sent through email attachments or links from unknown sources. Once the attack takes hold, it can prevent you from accessing any files or data stored on your system. If the attack happens on a larger scale, such as in an enterprise environment, it can effectively put the entire production and operational environment in jeopardy. The problem with ransomware attacks is that even if the organization or the individual decides to pay the ransom, there is no guarantee that we will actually get their sensitive information and files back to them intact. While the motivation of the hackers may differ, from financial motivation to political ideology, they could easily decide to either sell your information or disclose it to the public at large resulting in huge financial and reputation impact for the organization.
Protection against ransomware attacks can be difficult as your anti-malware software may not be able to protect you. Ransomware is written and tweaked on the go by its developers. Most antivirus programs are not capable of keeping track of the rapidly changing signatures. Recent data indicates that nearly three quarters of all recent ransomware victims had the most up-to-date endpoint protection active on the infected machines.
How to remove ransomware?
It may be possible to remove file encryption on some types of ransomware attacks.
You can try to do so by following these steps.
But in all honesty, the best cure to run ransomware is to prevent it from happening in the first place. One way to do this is to implement best practices. For instance, CISA recommends organizations, including MSPs, implement the best practices and hardening guidance in the CISA and MS-ISAC Joint Ransomware Guide. This can help organizations manage and mitigate ransomware risks. And they could also help formulate an adequate coordinated response to any ransomware incident.
Report Ransomware Attack:
Submit a report to your country’s scam reporting website:
As the name suggests, this (mostly Android-based) Locker ransomware is efficient at infecting systems and locking genuine users out completely except for the opportunity to interact with the window containing the ransom demand to make the payment.
The users will be unable to access any files or applications stored on the system and even access to peripherals like the mouse and the keyboard may be affected. But this kind of ransomware rarely ever targets the destruction of your data – the target is simply to disable access until payment is made. Ransomware recovery is generally effective at getting rid of locker ransomware.
Remember the 2017 WannaCry ransomware attack that affected thousands of computer systems globally?
Crypto ransomware is the cause of a lot of headache for enterprises because this kind of ransomware has the ability to encrypt your files, folders, and even data stored on hard-drives. Although this kind of attack encrypts all your files, it is designed so as not to interfere with normal computer functions. Ironically, this base level of functionality often ends up creating more panic for users who see their files but are unable to access them. To make matters worse, attackers often attach an ominous countdown to the ransom demand screen that counts the minutes and seconds until the complete deletion of all valuable user data. With many users still not making regular backups of their files and folders on physical assets or the cloud – they are forced to pay the ransom to get the data back.
With the appearance of Simplocker in 2014, mobile ransomware has only grown more prevalent.
The way it works is that the ransomware is delivered via a malicious app, that actively locks you out of your mobile device. The attackers claim that the device will only be unlocked once the ransom is paid.