Global Ransomware Resource Center
Consider the following recent high-profile attacks, and you'll start to get an idea of how dangerous and nimble ransomware can be.
Apple OS X - Typically thought of as less vulnerable to viruses and malware, ransomware hackers are now successfully targeting OS X systems through sophisticated phishing emails that use KeRanger malware to encrypt the data on a coputer and render it inaccessible until a ransom is paid in bitcoins.
Hollywood Presbyterian Hospital - Using phishing to trick an unsuspecting employee, attackers seized the hospital's entire IT system, stalled critical healthcare related communications and extorted $17,000 in ransom.
The City of Plainfield, New Jersey - Using phishing emails targeted at employees researching grants, hackers compromised three servers before city officials were able to pull them offline, effectively locking up the town's files in order to receive a small sum until the officials turned to law enforcement for help.
MedStar - News reports are now confirming that this is the latest in a series of phishing-related ransomware attacks on healthcase facilities; while it wasn't known at the time of this release if a ransom had been paid, media has said the facility confirmed that systems critical to patient care for thousands were locked for a time.
PhishMe Co-founder Aaron Higbee explains ransomware and its impact in plain English.
According to TrendMicro, "Ransomware is a type of malware that prevents or limits users from accessing their system. This type of malware forces users to pay the ransom through certain online payment methods in order to grant access to their systems, or to get their data back."
Ransomware is readily-available and changes faster than detection technologies can respond
In most cases, paying ransom is the only way to free hostage data and systems
Recent successful ransom situations will only encourage more attempts
Cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin can be used to force untraceable ransom payments
Humans are widely susceptible to phishing, the most commonly used ransomware attack vector
Ransomware has existed for several years but has been primarily used to victimize unsuspecting consumers. However, hackers are now turning their focus from just private individuals to more lucrative targets such as businesses and government agencies as they employ unbreakable ransomware strains, including: Cryptowall, TeslaCrypt, Locky, Cerber, Troldesh and CTB-Locker.
Get alerts and news on the latest phishing and ransomware threats from PhishMe-the most trusted name in cyber defense solutions.