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Cybercrime is real and it’s here.

by | Jun 12, 2019 | Uncategorised

Cybercrime is real and it’s here.

Targets have included local governments, hospitals and airports, but anyone on the internet could be attacked by cybercriminals using ransomware.

Ransomware locks up a victim’s files by encrypting files on computers and networks until a ransom is paid. The message the victim receives is likely to be something along the lines of ‘your network has been encrypted. If you would like to purchase the decryption keys, you have seven days to do so or your network files will be permanently deleted’ and then victims are told the amount required.

Today, 26% percent of cities and counties in America say they fend off an attack on their networks every hour.

Victims are left having to use pen and paper: no email, no access to personnel files or financial systems. And everyone is at risk of attack. The problem is, people are likely to pay because they can’t afford not to. In 2017, 1,700 successful ransomware attacks were reported in the United States, but it’s been suggested that this number is less than half the true amount as most businesses would rather pay than admit they were hacked. Realistically, when there’s nothing a company can do to unlock the files, they pretty much have the choice to wipe the system and hope that they have backups or pay the ransom to get the decryption keys.

Usually the ransom is demanded in the digital money bitcoin, because it’s so difficult to trace.

Ironically, in many cases, the ransom buys decryption keys that do actually work as the cybercriminals need credibility to keep the ransoms flowing and the scam active. And usually the victim has no chance of ever finding out who the cybercriminal is. In fact, they may have been hit by one of the many ransomware variations that simply scan the internet, trying to attack thousands of vulnerable networks at a time.

Obviously, as a victim, paying the ransom really sticks in the throat, but worse, sometimes the attackers not only demand a ransom to decrypt the files, they also threaten to release sensitive data to add pressure to the victim.

So, having been attacked, threatened and paying up, how does someone know that they are not going to be attacked again?

The answer is, they don’t. What they can do is try to reduce all entry points and any vulnerabilities, using professionals. Cybercrime is becoming more and more a way of life and the more connected we become, the more vulnerable we are.

By 2020, it’s expected that 50 billion devices worldwide will be connected to the internet.





Rapid IT Reponse is a specialist IT Company based in Stockport near Manchester

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