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  Connecting marketers to our tech communities.
SPONSORED BY
12/13/2016
09:50 AM
Malwarebytes Labs
Malwarebytes Labs
Partner Perspectives
50%
50%

Security In 2017: Ransomware Will Remain King

Businesses, consumers, and security professionals must face this reality and take the necessary steps to educate each other and protect their networks.

2016 was the year of ransomware, with hackers focusing their attentions on exploiting Internet users and businesses around the world for profit. According to the FBI, cyber-extortion losses have skyrocketed, and ransomware was on track to become a $1 billion a year crime in 2016.

Our research shows no sign of this security nightmare slowing down in 2017. Hackers are becoming more advanced, and ransomware remains an incredibly easy, lucrative way for them to make money. Unfortunately, the security community has only started to develop defenses that can protect Internet users from ransomware.

With the new year around the corner, security researchers at Malwarebytes Labs have compiled a list of predictions for new ransomware threats, developments, and opportunities that they expect consumers and businesses will face in 2017. Here are two of the key findings:

Ransomware will become personal. Most ransomware attacks today are indiscriminant. For the most part, cyber-criminals issue ransomware at random, hitting anyone and everyone they can. However, it’s increasingly likely that targeted ransomware attacks will become the new norm. If an attacker can recognize the difference between an enterprise and a consumer target, they will be able to adapt their ransom demands to match their victims.

The intentions of attacks are also likely to become more personal. In addition to encrypting files, ransomware attackers will soon be threatening to post data or information on social media, or to expose it in an equally destructive way. As with most cyberattacks, ransomware will grow to take advantage of more human vulnerabilities.

Ransomware protection will become a priority. Until this past year, companies and consumers had few solutions available to them to help detect and fight ransomware. Security researchers have been working hard to find decryptors of specific ransomware types so that they can effectively protect against them in the near future. However, once a ransomware descriptor is recognized, ransomware authors often tweak their attacks to avoid detection.

As this cat-and-mouse game between security researchers and ransomware creators continues, more security vendors will debut anti-ransomware protection offerings. In fact, we predict that by the end of 2017, at least 50% of security companies will release some sort of ransomware detection and/or prevention software. Companies and consumers will find themselves investing in new anti-ransomware security software in 2017.

Anyone and everyone is at risk of becoming a ransomware victim. A recent study we conducted showed that the US was the country most victimized by ransomware globally by far, with more than one-quarter of all ransomware detected. Specifically, Rust Belt America and smaller towns made up a substantial number of US ransomware victims.

But the issue is a global one, with ransomware detections showing up in countries around the world. And although cyber-criminal gangs have already saturated many subsets of the global population with ransomware, they are constantly improving their tactics, execution, and business models and will continue to be successful in 2017. It is imperative for businesses, consumers, and security professionals to face this reality and take the necessary steps to educate each other and protect their networks. 

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
COVID-19: Latest Security News & Commentary
Dark Reading Staff 7/9/2020
Russian Cyber Gang 'Cosmic Lynx' Focuses on Email Fraud
Kelly Sheridan, Staff Editor, Dark Reading,  7/7/2020
Why Cybersecurity's Silence Matters to Black Lives
Tiffany Ricks, CEO, HacWare,  7/8/2020
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon
Current Issue
Special Report: Computing's New Normal, a Dark Reading Perspective
This special report examines how IT security organizations have adapted to the "new normal" of computing and what the long-term effects will be. Read it and get a unique set of perspectives on issues ranging from new threats & vulnerabilities as a result of remote working to how enterprise security strategy will be affected long term.
Flash Poll
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2020-15105
PUBLISHED: 2020-07-10
Django Two-Factor Authentication before 1.12, stores the user's password in clear text in the user session (base64-encoded). The password is stored in the session when the user submits their username and password, and is removed once they complete authentication by entering a two-factor authenticati...
CVE-2020-11061
PUBLISHED: 2020-07-10
In Bareos Director less than or equal to 16.2.10, 17.2.9, 18.2.8, and 19.2.7, a heap overflow allows a malicious client to corrupt the director's memory via oversized digest strings sent during initialization of a verify job. Disabling verify jobs mitigates the problem. This issue is also patched in...
CVE-2020-4042
PUBLISHED: 2020-07-10
Bareos before version 19.2.8 and earlier allows a malicious client to communicate with the director without knowledge of the shared secret if the director allows client initiated connection and connects to the client itself. The malicious client can replay the Bareos director's cram-md5 challenge to...
CVE-2020-11081
PUBLISHED: 2020-07-10
osquery before version 4.4.0 enables a priviledge escalation vulnerability. If a Window system is configured with a PATH that contains a user-writable directory then a local user may write a zlib1.dll DLL, which osquery will attempt to load. Since osquery runs with elevated privileges this enables l...
CVE-2020-6114
PUBLISHED: 2020-07-10
An exploitable SQL injection vulnerability exists in the Admin Reports functionality of Glacies IceHRM v26.6.0.OS (Commit bb274de1751ffb9d09482fd2538f9950a94c510a) . A specially crafted HTTP request can cause SQL injection. An attacker can make an authenticated HTTP request to trigger this vulnerabi...