Ransomware is a type of malware which locks the computer data with encryption and holds it for ransom until the payment is made. The data is decrypted and access is granted to the user only when the payment is done. Money is the main motive for these malicious attacks that often spread through infected software apps, email attachments, unprotected websites and so forth. Usually when computers are attacked by ransomware, instructions are also provided on how to recover from the attack.
Ransomware attacks in Australia
Last year some of the biggest businesses in Australia had been hit by ransomware. Legal firms, courier companies, flight services endured a massive set back due to the attack of a vicious global ransomware. Several computer systems were breached by Petya ransomware. It exploited the same defencelessness as the virus WannaCry to spread to systems across the country. Majority of the firms and companies faced interruptions and other issues with the system.
Top 10 Ransomware Attacks in 2017
Notwithstanding latest security patches, ransomware still continues to overpower cybersecurity. Several small and large businesses had to pay millions of dollars to decrypt files. According to Webroot some of the worst ransomware attacks are as follows.
It was considered to be the most infamous and destructive ransomware attacks till date. It had crippled several firms including banks, law firms and other systems causing a major chaos in several countries across the world. It was also known as WannaCrypt.
Originated as a fake software update for Ukrainian tax, this malicious virus infected millions of computers in more than 100 countries within a few days. It caused huge damage to computers all across the world. It also caused a huge financial damage to major firms in the United States.
Another malware which has been active since 2015 is Nemucod. It comes in the form of an email and seems to be an invoice. It downloads malware and corrupts the system.
This malware hacks into the Remote Desktop Services and installs ransomware.
It was perhaps the most popular ransomware of the year 2016. It uses phishing email attacks to download the virus.
This is another form of ransomware that appears to work as a service provider to help victims and exhorts payment.
One of the distinctive features of this type of ransomware is that it has no specific payment portal. However, victims need to wait for email instructions for payment to be made.
It is quite similar to the malware Locky as it uses the same tactics. It hacked systems in May 2017.
It appears in the form of a spam email with an image of a clown. The ransomware starts encrypting files when the mail is clicked open.
Small and Medium Businesses Targeted by Ransomware
With ransomware attack infecting millions of computer systems across Europe, authorities have confirmed that it is the small and medium businesses in Australia that faced greater risks. Medical firms such as dental, medical and radiological clinics face larger risks compared to large conglomerates.
How to Be Protected from Ransomware?
Update security systems on your computer and install reliable antivirus software. Companies can also avail the services of a managed IT provider for better security. Ensure never to open links and attachments sent by strangers. Always keep mobile devices, office networks and computers secure by updating your software regularly. Websites that offer free downloads of music and games may contain malware. So it is important to be cautious while using such websites. Remember to access only reliable web links for information. To protect your system from ransomware, it is also pertinent to update your cybersecurity system and back up your data regularly.
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