Dark Reading is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Partner Perspectives //

bitdefender

1/5/2017
10:28 AM
Luana Pascu
Luana Pascu
Partner Perspectives
50%
50%

2017 To Bring More Ransomware, IoT DDoS Attacks, And SCADA Incidents

As hackers begin to target corporations in an attempt to extort higher ransom fees, the threat will only become more serious.

Racking up $1 billion in financial losses, 2016 was the year of ransomware. And 2017 will turn encrypting ransomware with automated targeting into a threat more prevalent than ever. The pervasiveness of IoT devices -- and their lax security -- across industries will enable further DDoS attacks through IoT botnets infected with Mirai malware, turning them and SCADA (supervisory control and data acquisition) incidents into the top cyberthreats in 2017.

Ransomware is one of the most aggressive online threats, leading to significant revenue loss for the companies infected. In 2016 alone, reports show, almost half of companies in the United States have been hit by ransomware. And the threat is growing, according to the FBI, as hackers start targeting corporations in an attempt to extort higher ransom fees.

Ransomware variants for Linux, Windows, Android, and Mac OS have been shown to target both private users and enterprises, with criminals not only encrypting computer data, but threatening to reveal all the information online unless the victim pays a substantial amount in bitcoin.

So far, ransomware attacks have been revealed worldwide against healthcare facilities and hospitals (Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center and Kentucky Hospital, both in the US), universities (University of Calgary in Canada and Bournemouth University in the UK), and police departments (Melrose Police Department in the US), with ransoms ranging between $200 and $10,000. And, in 2017, ransoms are likely to rise as attacks become fiercer.

From the beginning, ransomware has been successful because victims are usually willing to pay to regain access to their private data, although the amounts differ based on geographical areas. In this sense, US consumers have shown more attachment to their data and a greater willingness to pay ransom than German consumers, according to a Bitdefender survey.

Criminals don’t need a deep technical background or much money to attack a business or government. Hackers can just go to the dark web and buy a ransomware package, sometimes quite cheaply. For criminals, it’s easy money. But as they gain experience, it’s a challenge to keep track of all the ransomware variants developed to bypass traditional antimalware solutions. CryptoLocker, CryptoWall, Petya, Locky, and TeslaCrypt are only some of the types out there. Since CryptoLocker was terminated in 2014, CryptoWall has been one of the most prominent types of malware used in the US, according to the FBI.

Ransomware can hide inside an app you’ve just downloaded, a spam email campaign, or most often on suspicious websites that will infect your device. Most frequently, users fail to recognize it because it makes clever use of social engineering to impersonate law enforcement or other instructions and trick users into believing they have to pay a fine or take some other action.

Theoretically, you get access back after paying ransom in bitcoin. In many cases, though, the data is never recovered, even after a ransom payment. But should you pay the ransom if your company network has been affected? The FBI says no and encourages users to immediately reach out to them.

To minimize the risks of ransomware infection, use a reputable endpoint security solution and regularly patch or update endpoint software to prevent vulnerability exploits. Perform constant backups of your data, limit user access to mapped network drives, and train employees to detect malware campaigns and to exhibit safe online behavior.

Luana Pascu is a security specialist with Romanian antivirus vendor Bitdefender. After writing about NFC, startups, and tech innovation, she has now shifted focus to internet security, with a keen interest in smart homes and IoT threats. Luana is a supporter of women in tech ... View Full Bio
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
Data Leak Week: Billions of Sensitive Files Exposed Online
Kelly Jackson Higgins, Executive Editor at Dark Reading,  12/10/2019
Intel Issues Fix for 'Plundervolt' SGX Flaw
Kelly Jackson Higgins, Executive Editor at Dark Reading,  12/11/2019
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon
Current Issue
The Year in Security: 2019
This Tech Digest provides a wrap up and overview of the year's top cybersecurity news stories. It was a year of new twists on old threats, with fears of another WannaCry-type worm and of a possible botnet army of Wi-Fi routers. But 2019 also underscored the risk of firmware and trusted security tools harboring dangerous holes that cybercriminals and nation-state hackers could readily abuse. Read more.
Flash Poll
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2019-5252
PUBLISHED: 2019-12-14
There is an improper authentication vulnerability in Huawei smartphones (Y9, Honor 8X, Honor 9 Lite, Honor 9i, Y6 Pro). The applock does not perform a sufficient authentication in a rare condition. Successful exploit could allow the attacker to use the application locked by applock in an instant.
CVE-2019-5235
PUBLISHED: 2019-12-14
Some Huawei smart phones have a null pointer dereference vulnerability. An attacker crafts specific packets and sends to the affected product to exploit this vulnerability. Successful exploitation may cause the affected phone to be abnormal.
CVE-2019-5264
PUBLISHED: 2019-12-13
There is an information disclosure vulnerability in certain Huawei smartphones (Mate 10;Mate 10 Pro;Honor V10;Changxiang 7S;P-smart;Changxiang 8 Plus;Y9 2018;Honor 9 Lite;Honor 9i;Mate 9). The software does not properly handle certain information of applications locked by applock in a rare condition...
CVE-2019-5277
PUBLISHED: 2019-12-13
Huawei CloudUSM-EUA V600R006C10;V600R019C00 have an information leak vulnerability. Due to improper configuration, the attacker may cause information leak by successful exploitation.
CVE-2019-5254
PUBLISHED: 2019-12-13
Certain Huawei products (AP2000;IPS Module;NGFW Module;NIP6300;NIP6600;NIP6800;S5700;SVN5600;SVN5800;SVN5800-C;SeMG9811;Secospace AntiDDoS8000;Secospace USG6300;Secospace USG6500;Secospace USG6600;USG6000V;eSpace U1981) have an out-of-bounds read vulnerability. An attacker who logs in to the board m...