Ransomware has been a major problem online for a lot of people, however, it is starting to become a major issue for businesses. As ZDNet reports 31 major organizations have now been hit with a new wave of ransomware attacks. The online scam could be set to get a whole lot more prevalent and problematic for the online community.
Google found that ransomware made $25 million back in 2017. It is likely this figure has dramatically increased since them. As Verizon noted back in 2018, ransomware was the most prevalent type of security breach and becoming more popular.
What is ransomware?
For those that are unaware, ransomware is a scam used by criminals to force you to pay to get your data back. Groups of scammers do this by encrypting your data online to such a degree that you have to pay them to get it back.
Online criminals have also shown themselves to be ingenious in their schemes and this is now different. As we now have so much data stored online we are increasingly easy to target. So many of us do not secure all our important online data. This allows criminal scammers to take advantage of our laziness.
Businesses now the target of ransomware
Before now it was mainly individuals being targeted by this scam. However, that has changed and now big business are being exploited by these criminal gangs.
The vast majority of the 31 companies targeted were household names which is seriously worrying.
A number of them were Fortune 500 companies. The attack was partially disrupted otherwise it would have led to millions of dollars in damages and downtime. This would have been felt heavily throughout the supply chain. It seems no one is immune to this problem.
Some of the work by these gangs is very sophisticated and makes for worrying reading. One group posed as a potential customer to request a trial licence for a security product that was not commonly available. This allowed them to breach security and conduct their scam.
As mentioned, the targets of this type of scam have evolved from PCs to irreplaceable business assets.
This means things such as file servers, database services, virtual machines and cloud environments. The scammers also find the backups for these files to make it even harder to recover.
Police are reluctant to investigate these crimes though. Given they have so few officers trained in this area they know the chances of catching the perpetrators is very low. The worry is that as these criminals gangs gain more success they may set their sights even higher.
Potentially, they may begin to steal data as well as encrypt it. This could lead to threats of leaking said data. Ransomware is likely the future of online scams and we should all be worried about its effects as authorities have little control over what is going one.