OZ Verified Business
Australia's No.1 Computer Support Company
Need Technical Support? 1300 723 628 Call Service is open 24 Hours/ 7 Days a Week

Call us now

Must Know Ransomware Trends And Forecasts for 2017

Must Know Ransomware Trends And Forecasts for 2017

The world is experiencing cyber attacks from a malware known as ransomware which is holding individuals and businesses to ransom. Ransomware is a type of malware which locks up your data and demands victims to pay a ransom for their release. According to security experts, ransomware is expected to dominate in 2017 more than the previous years. In 2016, ransomware grew in popularity with many businesses experiencing data theft as a result of this malware.

Must Know Ransomware Trends And Forecasts for 2017

Credit: Pixabay

Biggest Cyber Attack in History

On May 12th 2017, the world experienced the biggest cyber attack in history, bigger than even the Dyn DDoS. Behind this cyber attack which affected big organisations in Europe was a ransomware called WannaCry. During the first few hours of the attack, approximately 200,000 computers were infected. Among those infected by the malware were Renault and NHS. According to reports, hackers behind WannaCry only made $50,000 from the cyber attack which affected 150 countries. The reason for this small payment is because victims are not aware how to pay ransom using Bitcoins. The attackers demand payment through Bitcoins because crypto-currency is difficult to track down.

What is Ransomware?

Ransomware is a sophisticated type of malware which prevents or locks user’s system and threatens to publish or delete the data until a sum of money is paid. Today, we have two types of ransomware; encrypting ransomware and locker ransomware. Encrypting ransomware uses advanced encryption to block users from accessing their files and systems and demands victims to pay a ransom for a decryption key. Examples include CryptoWall and Locky. Locker ransomware is a malware that locks users from their system and files. In this case the system is not encrypted, but is locked. The cyber attackers will demand a ransom to release the data.

Ransomware-pic_640
Example ransomware message.

Expect ransomware attacks to continue even if the volume dips this year

The last two years have seen a growth in cyber attacks as a result of ransomware. The trend is unlikely to change in 2017. Most of the ransomware attacks targeted individuals, but organisations have also become victim to these data theft. In 2016, businesses were three times attacked by the malware compared to individuals who were attacked two times. Cyber attackers will target businesses in 2017 because that is where they make more money.

Email attachment infection will be common in 2017

Email attachment is the most important platform for ransomware attackers because it goes largely undetected. Using advanced phishing tactics, cyber attackers can trick victims and steal their data, demanding a ransom for their release. In 2016 these payment loads were hidden in Microsoft Office macros and JavaScript. According to the analysis done by Proofpoint, 96 percent of email phishing used these two types of attachment. Hence it is expected email attachment will continue to be used by ransomware attackers in 2017.

New type of ransomware will be released in 2017

In 2017, we will not see a decrease in variants of ransomware. Based on 2016 figures of ransomware variants, which saw an increase from 11 times to 30 times, expect ransomware to increase this year. Last year, ransomware attackers made $1 billion from victims. Therefore, cyber attackers will not slow down with ransomware variants in 2017.

Rates of ransomware infection will improve when backup data fail

The reason why ransomware attacks have not enjoyed much success in terms of money paid is because the victims are backing up their data. Therefore, they would not give in to ransom when they have the same data backed up in another system. With reports showing close to 75% of organisations targeted by ransomware have no security in place to prevent the data theft, businesses should consider backing up their data regularly. The problem with back up as a last resort is that victims of ransomware don’t fully recover their stolen data. This might lead to victims paying ransom to recover the remaining data.

If people continue to pay ransom ransomware attack will continue to grow. In 2015 and 2016 we experienced a growth in these attacks and 2017 will see more creative ransomware attacks. For you to mitigate these attacks you need to do the following:

    1. Make sure you quarantine any email attachment you receive that has a script file. Also to make sure that you scan any emails you receive for suspicious.
    2. Keep your web browser, including plug-ins like Adobe Flash are updated regularly.
    3. In case browser plug-ins are not needed for business purposes, do uninstall them and prevent users from reinstalling the same.
    4. Disable macros for Microsoft Office by default and enable it for users who only need macros.
    5. Backup your data regularly.

Written by The Original PC Doctor and posted on Jun 28, 2017.

Share this page on your favourite platform by clicking one of the icons below:
Want a Quick Quote?

If you are experiencing any problems with your technology please enter your details below and one of our helpful helpdesk staff will contact you back in 30 minutes or less.

    Sign me up for the weekly newsletter

    We will never share your information with anyone.
    Privacy Policy.

    Customer Reviews
    The Original PC Doctor
    Average Rating: 4.5 out of 5
    *Based on 471471 customer reviews collected via multiple sources (Word of Mouth, Product Reviews, Google Reviews and our feedback system.
    The Original PC Doctor reviews

    Stage 4: Restrictions Melbourne Metro

    COVID-19 Stage 4 Overview

    We are closely monitoring the situation daily and constantly revision and updating company policies and procedures to keep our staff, clients and the greater community safe. If any of our staff have any flu symptoms, they must cease work immediately and get tested while waiting for tests they are forced to stay at home and not permitted to leave for any reason what so ever. Thus far Australia wide as of 14 October 2020 we have had 6 technicians go in for testing, one in SA and five in Victoria all came back as negative, to our knowledge we have been responsible for zero community transmissions and zero COVID-19 cases. After dealing with virus outbreaks for the last 20 years we understand the social dynamics and life cycles of these epidemics. As an organisation have gone over and above the government regulations and are working on new technologies to keep serving our clients with the highest standards of quality and service long into this pandemic.

    We would like to update you regarding the stage 4 restrictions imposed by Daniel Andrews government on the state of Victoria since Midnight 5th August 2020. We will be closely screening all clients that they are clear from any flu symptoms or been into contact with anyone that is confirmed to have the COVID-19 virus. The great news is you can still get your computer fixed in Victoria, all other states are not affected and running as per normal, we have a number of flexible options for you;

    1) Remote desktop support, for any software configuration issues we can log in remotely via the internet and fix them.

    2) Contact-less computer repairs. We will book a time when a technician will come to your work or home, once the technician arrives they will call you. You are then required to put the equipment outside. The technician will take the equipment away assess it and then get back to you with some options for repairing it. Once the repairs are complete the technician will return the computer back to you.

    3) Sendle - DIY send it in. You can book a Sendle pickup which we organise for the next business day. Simple call up and book the job, you then need to put your laptop in a box and we email you a shipping label. Attach the label to the box and a Sendle courier will pick it up from your work or home on the next business day. We will also arrange for delivery back to you once the computer is all fixed up.

    4) Australia Post. You can register your details with us and then send your computer in for repairs. We can send it back once the machine is repaired and working like new again.

    5) Onsite booking, this is only as a last resort if you need your computer as a primary communications tool or you need help with your NBN or VOIP phone. We can dispatch a technician with the full PPE outfit to you home or workplace to get you back online.

    If you have any comments, concerns or feedback we would love to hear it, please email our biosecurity task force at [[email protected]].