The year of 2016 and 2017 was impactful in the technological world with the appearance of Ransomware attacking businesses. WannaCry and Petya cyber attacks had rocked the world, sending governments into a tizzy, businessmen scurrying for cover and the average person scared whether they will be the next one to install Ransomware on their remote device unintentionally.
2018 saw a fall in the popularity of Ransomware, making people heave a sigh of relief that a huge global threat was now put to rest. However, 2019 witnessed a resurgent comeback of Ransomware with a more targeted approach, continuous updates to dissuade antivirus software from deleting them and attacks which are not generalised like the ones in 2017, but more localised making ransomware attacks more dangerous than ever before. McAfee has reported an increase of 118% in detected Ransomware during the first half of 2019 alone.
In this topic
There are four kinds of Ransomware which are the most dangerous and have the potential to wipe out entire energy systems through a simple download.
Dharma: Dharma Ransomware has become one of the most potent malware systems in the world. The authors of this Ransomware continue to release regular updates, ensuring that no one can decrypt it. Dharma is especially scary as it does not require their intended victim to download links to infest itself.
Ryuk: The authors behind Ryuk Ransomware have become notorious for locking down entire systems, organizations and energy storehouses in exchange for thousands of dollars.
GrandCrab: This Ransomware was leased out to people privately in exchange for a cut in the profits. Just like Dharma, its authors too released regular updates to prevent anyone from fully conquering their software. However, GrandCrab has ceased operations now.
SamSam: This malware can customize itself to fit in through any protection systems that a computer may have set up. It uses vulnerabilities in remote desktops, Java-based web servers, or weak passwords to enter into a computer.
Recent Ransomware Attacks on Major Cities
Governments and public institutions are becoming the forefront of targeted ransomware attacks. With sensitive information being handed over to a group of people who may hand it over to enemy states, governments are left with little option but to cater to the demands of the attackers. Here’s taking a look at recent attacks on some of the major cities of the world and how their governments handled it.
London is one of the cities most likely to suffer from an attack due to the high volume of sensitive public data held within the platforms. The Freedom of Information (FOI) published that the city has suffered 7.2 million cyber attacks from March 2018 – 2019 which is alarming as so many attacks take place every day and it time they become more sophisticated. In 2016 London was victimised by cyber-crime more than any other cities around the world.
Florida has become a favorite target of ransomware attackers, with three municipal governments being attacked in one month, namely with TrickBot, Emotet, and Ryuk. Lake City in Florida had to revert back to the old age of pen and paper as all their digital systems were shut down for quite a lot of time, including everything from emails to credit card systems. Fortunately, emergency services were still functional.
In the end, Lake City had to pay $460,000 to the attackers in order to free all of their systems besides Riviera Beach which had to pay $600,000.
In July 2019, one of the major electric power suppliers of Johannesburg, South Africa was hit by ransomware. This attack interfered with electronic payments, purchasing of prepaid electricity and affected a quarter million people, however, luckily no data of any individual was compromised.
In recent months, Georgia, particularly the city of Atlanta, has been hit repeatedly by ransomware attackers, but what makes these attacks particularly interesting are the places where the cyber-criminals have chosen to attack the city. Public infrastructure is a prime choice for attackers, including the state’s Department of Public Safety, local and state courts, one of the most major hospitals in the city, the files of a county government, and a police department which kept details from over 30,000 people. Atlanta is still facing the brunt of these attacks with a majority of people reverting to pen and paper.
Enterprises Under the Threat of Ransomware
Ransomware attacks are a threat for all organisations, however, when talking about health care organisations such as major hospitals, they are a key and soft target for the actors behind malware because it’s a life and dead situation when employees are unable to access data such as patient files, which makes them more likely to pay up, as this type of malware attack can shut down diagnostic machines, shut off lights in surgical rooms and can steal sensitive patients information which are stored on their computer systems.
In addition, multinational companies are also a key target of attackers. Holding all the information regarding a company and threatening to release them to competitors is a surefire way of getting the ransom money that the attackers desire. Even though it is also not ethically correct and threatening to release information and essentially flushing away a person’s life of hard work down the drain is not desirable, it still seems to be a better bargain than putting the lives of thousands at risks and maybe cyber-criminals feel the same way about hospitals, as there have been reports of some healthcare businesses resuming operations after being infected with Ransomware without paying any kind of ransom to the attacker
Protect your business against Ransomware
When it comes to protecting yourself from Ransomware, “prevention before cure” works the best. Making sure that all your devices are up to date with the latest software upgrades is essential. It may not save you from attacks on the government, but it will surely keep your information safe on your remote devices. Seeking the services of one of the best IT Support in London businesses will help you ensure that your devices are in optimal health, with unrivaled help- desk support and management solutions. In addition, our IT support consultancy services will ensure that you get a package which caters especially to your needs, as we understand that no two businesses are the same, and they all have different needs.