"It's not personal ... It's strictly business." That line from "The Godfather" encapsulates the mindset of criminals who extort businesses using ransomware and other tools: Their imperative is profits, no matter any disruption they might cause to critical services, such as those provided by Colonial Pipeline.
Ransomware continues to prove a reliable moneymaker for criminals, with the average cyber extortion payoff rising to $220,298, reports ransomware incident response firm Coveware. Zero-day attacks and shakedowns targeting Accellion File Transfer Appliance users helped boost criminals' profits.
Crisis communications: If your organization suffers a ransomware outbreak - despite its best cybersecurity efforts - is it ready to respond quickly and transparently? Experts have lauded the Scottish Environment Protection Agency for its response, saying it's a model for other victims to emulate.
The zero-day attacks against Accellion's File Transfer Appliance show that a number of big-name firms continued to use the legacy technology - even though more secure, cloud-based options were available. Evidently, many CISOs didn't see a compelling reason to move on. Of course, now they do.
Nearly four years after the WannaCry ransomware hit the world, targeting the EternalBlue vulnerability in Microsoft SMB version 1, security firms say the malware continues to be a top threat detected in the wild by endpoint security products. Why won't WannaCry just die?
Using a nearly 20-year-old file transfer product - what could go wrong? Among the many lessons to be learned from the Accellion File Transfer Appliance mess is this: Attackers will devote substantial resources to reverse-engineer hardware, software or a service if there's a financial upside.
To take down bigger targets more easily and quickly, ransomware gangs are increasingly tapping initial access brokers, who sell ready access to high-value networks. Economically speaking, it's a no-brainer move for cybercrime gangs.
Ransomware attacks continue to pummel organizations, but fewer victims have been paying a ransom, and when they do, on average they're paying less than before, says ransomware incident response firm Coveware, which traces the decline to attackers failing to honor their data deletion promises.
Are insurers getting cold feet over covering losses to ransomware? With claims due to ransomware skyrocketing, some insurers have reportedly been revising offerings to make it tougher for companies to claim for some types of cybercrime, including extortion.
Darkside is the latest ransomware operation to announce an affiliate program in which a ransomware operator maintains crypto-locking malware and a ransom payment infrastructure while crowdsourced and vetted affiliates find and infect targets. When a victim pays, the operator and affiliate share the loot.
Victims of crypto-locking malware who pay a ransom to their attackers are paying, on average, more than ever before. But investigators warn that when victims pay for a guarantee that all data stolen during an attack will get deleted, criminals often fail to honor their promises.
As ransomware continues to slam organizations, a lively debate has ensued about whether ransom payments should be banned in all cases. Attempting to ban ransom payments, however, likely would only make the problem worse.
Cybercrime wouldn't exist as we know it today without there being a multitude of technologies and services that criminals have been able to turn to their advantage, and cryptocurrency is one of the prime examples, especially when it comes to ransomware, darknet markets and money laundering.
Ransomware has emerged as the No. 1 online threat targeting public and private organizations this year. Seeking maximum returns, more gangs have moved beyond opportunistic attacks to target organizations with "post-intrusion ransomware." Meanwhile, many victims fail to report such crimes to police.
Russian criminals operating online who want to stay out of jail need only to follow a few simple rules, the primary one being: Never target Russians. So it's surprising that security researchers have uncovered a new ransomware-wielding gang of Russian speakers that includes Russian victims on its hit list.