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How Ransomware Evolved in 2018

April 4, 2018

Chances are that by now, you’ve already heard of a good deal of ransomware attacks in the news this year. There was one just last week involving the city of Atlanta. This is no coincidence; ransomware is steadily becoming the most popular, and destructive, form of cybercrime and it’s projected to come to a head this year.

However, as ransomware awareness and prevention has increased, the hackers will be forced to adapt their attacks. The cyber defense industry has already noticed some new trends, here are a few.

  • Smaller-scale attacks have become the norm


While some career hackers like chasing the big fish – like major hospitals and world governments – and seeing their ransomware make the national headlines, most hackers just want to make a quick buck and not have to worry about constantly changing their ransomware strain.

Recently there has been an uptick in ransomware variants that target smaller businesses, ones that might not be as educated about ransomware prevention or have any defenses set up to stop it. From a hacker’s perspective, each attack might not net as much ransom as locking down a giant conglomerate, but there will always be easy targets, resulting in a slow, but constant, drip and much less risk of arrest.

  • Ransomware is easier than ever to make


It’s very difficult to create a ransomware family, let alone one strain, that can be used to effectively lock down a business. Unfortunately, some of the more enterprising hackers are capitalizing on this by creating ransomware kits and selling them on the dark web. Now even the most inexperienced hacker can have access to a working ransomware variant.
Ransomware kits are an attractive option for novices because they don’t have to create the bug themselves, but they are still able to choose who it attacks and how much the ransom is. The cybercrime business is growing, which means this cottage industry of ransomware kits will only grow as well.

  • The Healthcare industry has been singled out


As you may have noticed from some of the high profile ransomware cases recently, hospitals have been consistently a major target. This is because of a variety of reasons, but mostly due to the fact that hospitals hold incredibly sensitive and confidential information that they can’t afford have fall into the wrong hands.

In short, a hospital will almost always pay the ransom because losing patient information and health records would doom them anyway.

This is why more than any other industry, healthcare organizations absolutely must make sure they have the proper ransomware preventive and reactionary measures in place.

If you want to learn more about how to prevent ransomware, as well as how to properly respond during a ransomware attack, contact TOSS C3 anytime by calling 1-888-884-8677!

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