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Understanding Ransomware


Understanding Ransomware

The Need to Know About Malware that Hits Your Data, Then Your Wallet

These cybercriminals have no shortage of tools and in their attempts to abuse and take advantage of those they set their sights on. Recently, however, it seems that more and more of them select ransomware as their weapon of choice. Knowing what ransomware is, and how to avoid falling victim to it, is critical to a business’ survival. Fortunately, this particular malware has a few distinct characteristics that make it relatively simple to identify and describe. We can advise you on what to look out for and how we can help to keep you protected.

Ransomware attacks are rising daily. The first line of defense is our customers. We help to advise and educate, you and your staff on what they need to know about ransomware security threats, keeping them protected, while making your job easier.

Ransomware and online actors with ill intent

With most online attacks, ransomware certainly lives up to it's name, it’s malware that allows hackers to demand a ransom. This malware classification follows a simple, but devious, method of attack. The program will encrypt files on the host system and demand that the user pay x amount to regain access to their files, typically asking to be paid in some form of cryptocurrency. Usually adding panic to this demand, the extortionists include a time limit within their demands, threatening to either delete your files or double the amount if you don't pay on time.

Due to typically high ransoms associated with ransomware, there are some targets that will fall victim more than others. Motivation for utilising ransomware is financial, so they will be seeking out to attack targets with more capital and higher liquidity. Putting businesses more at risk of being targeted than a private user, although anyone is at risk.

How is ransomware spread?

 Email phishing, is common tactic of malware distributors, using or sending out deceptive emails that look to confuse the recipient into giving the malware to access their system. These emails can look very official and convincing, appearing to be sent from government and well known organizations, or industry peers. The malware is sent along as an attachment that executes once it is opened, bypassing many of the system’s defenses through the user’s permission.

This tendency for malware to spread via phishing provides two more reasons that businesses are so frequently designated as targets: camouflage and points of access.

We all get dozens of emails, business users are no different. Clients, coworkers, and various other contacts reach the inbox as staff work throughout the day. They all add up, eventually leading to many of us managing our emails on autopilot. After a member of Human Resources has been working for a while, a folder containing job application materials may not be an out-of-the-ordinary thing for them to receive. If the corrupted email looks legitimate, what cause would an employee have to worry? These assumptions (the ones that lead to short-sighted clicking) are precisely what cybercriminals rely on to infiltrate their victims’ systems.

The other contributing factor to a business is related to these assumptions as well: a high volume of points of access. As they grow, businesses will usually need to take on more employees to support their operations. An unfortunate side effect of this, however, is that as a company grows in potential value to a cybercriminal, it also increases the number of potential access points for a cybercriminal to take advantage of.

Ransomware Titles You Should Know







If you see any of these pictures, we strongly advise you to get some advice immediatley. At SMG Business Solutions Ltd, our dedicated technicians can help show you how to altogether avoid the unfortunate situations brought on by ransomware. If you have questions about ransomware, malware of any kind, or if you simply would like tips on how to best protect your data and infrastructure from ransomware, call us today at 020 7898 3500.

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