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Behind the Average Ransomware Attack

Introduction

If you’ve been following this blog for awhile, then you’ve probably heard about the dangers of ransomware a lot. Hopefully, you’ve even picked up a few tips about how to recognize, handle and report ransomware schemes.

Just how bad can these attacks really get, though?

That’s exactly what we’re going to explore here.

Walk Through an Average Ransomware Attack

The way that cybercriminals first approach their victims vary. They may use phishing tricks, which remain one of the most popular methods because of how effective it is, or they could use brute force to break in and do whatever they want with your system and devices; there’s no limit to the ways cybercriminals approach their targets.

Once the attacker has access to the victim’s system, they will install ransomware software. This software can be disguised as a legitimate program, or it can be hidden in a file that you open, thinking it’s trustworthy.

After the victim’s files have been encrypted, the attacker will demand a ransom payment in exchange for the decryption key. The ransom payment is typically demanded in cryptocurrency, such as Bitcoin, to make it more difficult to track the attacker when one of their victims inevitably reports the theft to authorities.

Remember, most people never see their data again even if they pay the ransom! That’s why you’re advised NEVER to pay for your files; backups should be tested regularly in order to restore your data in any situation.

Even if they do return your data, the cybercriminals often demand double extortion to prevent them from publishing your private information all over the Internet. Of course, that’s no guarantee it won’t still wind up on the Dark Web!

Fighting Ransomware

$7.2M and 560K records are impacted in an average ransomware attack. Don’t let yours be one of them!

  1. Unplug affected machines to prevent the infection from spreading through the local network.

  2. NEVER pay the fee.

  3. Report ransomware to your IT team and all the appropriate authorities as designated by your company’s incident response plan.

What would YOU do if you got hit with a ransomware attack? If you’re even a little unsure or hesitant, then take the time today to ask your superiors so you’re 100% ready to act when disaster strikes!

Conclusion

Nearly 500M ransomware attacks occurred in 2022. Statistics show that they’re happening more often and demanding more money each time. The best defense is educating yourself on the latest ransomware threats and the consequences that lay in wait if you fall for bad actors’ persistent tactics.

Ransomware isn’t going away. If anything, it’s getting more prevalent and harder to handle. Know what to do when the worst happens, before it happens. Your private data will thank you!

References

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