Terry Cutler – The Ethical Hacker
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Ransomware attacks continue

Ransomware is a form of online extortion targeting businesses and individuals. And as we move further into 2022, it is becoming more of a problem. 

For instance, imagine you show up to work as the company CEO and find out that all your corporate data is unusable?. The data backups are now encrypted and useless. 

Moreover, the company’s sensitive customer data is now up for ransom. To have your data returned, it will cost you big bucks. 

Imagine, walking through the office, and on every computer screen is a message; “We’ve encrypted the files on this computer. You have 72 hours to pay $5,000 to receive the encryption key. Otherwise, the price will go up every hour after that. After 72 hours, we will destroy everything.”

In response, you might try to rename your files back or call your IT specialist. But there’s no way out. Your data is now encrypted with military-grade 2048-bit encryption. 

There’s not much you can do besides cut your losses or pay up. Even the FBI says there’s no way out of it and to pay the ransom. In addition, if you pay up, there’s a chance you won’t get your files back. So you’re out of the data and cash.

How Ransomware works

You open an email with an attached ZIP file. Maybe you clicked a link or an infected pop-up advertisement? Perhaps you visited an infected website? Ransomware can even come as an attached Word document or PDF.

Today, ransomware is highly sophisticated. This malicious software can detect data on your local computer and any external USB hard drive. Once in your network, it can see other computers in your system and infect it remotely without user interaction. 

Remember WannaCry, a malware indiscriminately spreading like wildfire not only inside corporations but also at the home user level? Even though Ransomware has existed for a while, it has exploded in recent years because of four primary drivers:

●   There are more distribution channels

●   It’s cheaper to build and comes with 24/7 support from criminals

●   Increasingly lucrative targets

●   Bitcoin and other untraceable digital currencies.

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