26 October 2017
Ransomware attacks are expected to see a surge in 2017 and will likely be a big problem this year, according to security experts. After the WannaCry and NotPetya ransomware attacks earlier this year, security experts believe that this is just the beginning. In 2017, ransomware attacks will continue to grow.
The cyber security firm believes that the malware attacks this year have been targeted towards disruption rather than monetary gains in 2017. The attacks are targeted towards energy and infrastructure companies and were designed to cause maximum damage or even paralyze an entire nation like Ukraine in 2015.
Such attacks cause massive financial damage and disruption. The attacks are different from earlier ransomware attacks, which holds machines and data hostage for money.
As the report explains:
“While very different in nature and targets, both were surprisingly ineffective as ‘ransomware.’ For example, in the case of WannaCry, its rapid global spread and high profile put a spotlight on the attackers’ Bitcoin ransom account and made it hard for them to cash out. This suggests that the real aim of the WannaCry attack was data destruction… The pattern of destructive malware disguised as ransomware showed itself again in the ExPetr attack.”
Security researchers state that users and small businesses can protect themselves against ransomware by having a firewall in place, including a gateway security as well as a network sandbox. Businesses should also back up their data in case a cyber-attack renders a network useless.