Ransomware Main Source in Fueling Cyber Attacks

Ransomware Main Source in Fueling Cyber Attacks – Host.co.in


With the rise if ransomware attacks in early 2016, more and more cybercriminals are taking advantage of this lucrative crime spree. It has been reported that hackers have been busy the initial quarter of 2016 developing new domains and subdomains and attacking the authentic ones to carry out their ransomware operations.

The number increased 35 times in just the first three months of this year. This does not include the volume of actual attacks but takes into consideration malicious infrastructure. Attackers are rapidly developing new domains and subdomains in order to be ahead of security filters and other blacklists. However, the ransomware’s attack infrastructure is growing is a good sign as it shows that attackers are shifting their focus to these operations.

The threat index was 137 which was the highest all-time in the first quarter of 2016. While there were other attacks like malware, phishing, distributed denial of service, ransomware domain’s explosion helped in reaching the overall threat index higher. Domains of ransomware, comprising of those hosting the actual download as well as those acting as command-and-control servers for infected machines led to 60% of the complete category of malware. To be precise, ransomware is working

Cybercriminals are shifting their focus to big money, big industrialists rather than small businesses. Cybercriminals don’t have to attack many victims for $500 each if they can get $17,000 from a single prospect.

FBI reported the latest estimates showing the costs suffered by the victims of ransomware which was around $200 million in the first quarter of 2016 whereas in 2015 it was $24 million. This comprises of expenses of downtime and the time needed to clear off the infection and plus the resources which were required to recover the systems from backup.

It has been witnessed that cybercriminals have abandoned the sow and harvest cycle.  They spent a few months developing the attack infrastructure and then some months harvesting and reaping the benefits before doing everything from the start.

The harvest period seems to be less necessary, as criminals get more efficient shifting from task to task, developing domains, attacking authentic domains, developing and distributing malware, pilfering data, and usually initiating harm to victims.

For the matter of fact, such level of threats will be with us for a predictable future; it is just that the nature of threat will change constantly.

Though the fastest growing segment of attacks is ransomware, however, it holds a very small percentage in the overall attack infrastructure. The biggest threat is Exploit kits causing more than 50% of the overall index.

Recently, it has been reported that ransomware’s growth has been rapid; however, it is not the most prevalent threat facing enterprises today. Enterprises are most likely to see phishing attacks, malware, Trojans, backdoors, exploit kits etc.

According to Microsoft, ransomware accounted for less than 1% OF malware in 2015. In the second half of 2015, the percentage jumped to 50%. To be precise an increase from 0.24% to 0.4%. So, even if we consider 35 times more attacks in 2016, that is still relatively a very small number.

You need to follow some basic steps to stay ahead of ransomware like keeping software up-to-date, tightening security measures and maintaining clean backups.

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