Obviously, ransomware attackers have no scruples. But the latest attacks go to even further extremes, channeling everything from Hitler to cats, as attackers hone their attempts to shake down Windows and Android users alike.
The new "No More Ransom" portal is designed to emphasize that police and security firms are doing whatever they can to disrupt ransomware gangs, as well as to help more victims get their data back for free, says Intel Security's Raj Samani.
The Petya ransomware gang says it released 3,500 crypto keys that it stole - along with source code - from rival Chimera ransomware developers. If the keys are legitimate, security firms say they can build decryption tools for Chimera victims.
Security firm ThreatConnect says Guccifer 2.0, who claims to be the lone hacker of the Democratic National Committee, may have close ties to Russia. But after reviewing related technical evidence, not all security experts agree.
The nation's HIPAA enforcement agency has dramatically ramped up its issuance of breach-related financial penalties. In the ninth enforcement action of 2016, it slapped University of Mississippi Medical Center with a $2.75 million fine after a breach investigation revealed big security woes.
A new portal - NoMoreRansom.org - aims to help ransomware victims avoid having to pay ransoms to get their data back. Backed by Dutch and EU law enforcement agencies, plus security firms Kaspersky Lab and Intel Security, the site includes the first decryptor for Shade ransomware.
How low will ransomware go? New malware - dubbed Ranscam - demands bitcoins to unlock files, but in reality they've already been deleted, researchers warn. As always when it comes to defending against ransomware, preparation pays.
Ransomware is devastating, and current security software doesn't do a great job of stopping it. But researchers say ransomware's behavior - quickly encrypting large volumes of files before users have time to react - could be the key to solving this epidemic.
The federal tally of major health data breaches shows that to-date in 2016, there have been more reported hacker incidents than during the first half of 2015. However, so far this year, those hacks appear to be affecting fewer individuals.
With ransomware attacks surging, all organizations should ensure they have an enterprise backup and disaster recovery plan in place, and eliminate all unnecessary, outdated or disused applications and services running on endpoints and servers, says ESET's Mark James.
After Kansas Heart Hospital suffered a ransomware infection and paid the demanded ransom, its attackers demanded more. At that point, the hospital reportedly declined to comply, relying instead on its pre-prepared backup and recovery plan.
In a shocking twist, the developers behind the TelsaCrypt ransomware have apologized for their ransom campaign and released a master decryption key, which all victims can now use to unlock the malware.
Organizations chosen for remote "desk audits" of their HIPAA compliance, which will begin this summer, need to be prepared to quickly provide supporting documentation, Deven McGraw, deputy director of health information privacy at the HHS Office for Civil Rights, explains this in-depth audio interview.
The section chief of the FBI's Cyber Division says "the FBI does not condone payment of ransom," in part because it enables criminals to victimize others. Instead, the bureau continues to urge all potential victims to get their IT house in order.