RANSOMWARE ATTACK: THREATS, AND COUNTERMEASURES
Combining cryptography and malware can lead to dangerous problems. This type of computer virus is also known as “ransomware”. This virus is part of the field of cryptovirology. A threat actor can send a ransomware file to an unknown victim using phishing techniques. The ransomware file will launch the virus payload which is malicious code if it is opened. Ransomware executes the code to encrypt user data on infected computers or hosts. These data include user files such as documents, spreadsheets, and photos. Ransomware attacks your computer files and uses an encryption algorithm such as RSA to make them inaccessible. You can only access the files if you pay a ransom to the threat actor. Follow the instructions in the encrypted files. Ransomware is a type of malware that demands payment to fix the problem.
The fun begins once they have all the publicly available email addresses. Your attack footprint and risk are greater if there are more email addresses than you have. Sometimes it’s surprising how many addresses there are. They can now send employees emails claiming to be from Accounting, Human Resources, or the mailroom. This will socially engineer your users into clicking on a link. Based on the new software model almost 90% of attacks are carried out via the internet. Yes, the bad guys have also moved to the cloud. Software as a Service (SaaS) web apps is replacing locally installed software. Ransomware as a Service (RaaS) is a growing threat to businesses and criminals are profiting from this trend.
RaaS is an acronym for various online malware exploits that can be used by bad actors to attack the IT assets of individuals and businesses. Criminal entrepreneurs create these attack programs and sell them to others. These program buyers then blackmail or extort their victims by demanding ransom for their computer systems.
HOW DOES RANSOMWARE WORK?
Phishing emails with malicious attachments are a common way to spread ransomware. These emails look legitimate and provide a compelling reason why the document is important. Malicious attachments can be PDF, ZIP, or DOC files, XLS files, DOC files, XLS files, and PPT files. They appear as invoices, business documents, or any other work-related files. Ransomware can sometimes end up on your computer if you visit infected websites. Make sure that your antivirus software and any other installed software are up-to-date to avoid malicious drive-by downloading.
How to Reduce the Risk of Ransomware Infections
These are only a few of the best practices, but they do not cover all aspects.
SECURING NETWORKS & SYSTEMS
- Plan for an emergency response this includes how to handle ransomware events.
- Backups are essential. If you have encrypted or infected files, make sure your backup system allows for multiple backups. Routinely test backups to verify data integrity and ensure that they are operational.
- Anti-spam and antivirus software are recommended. Regular network and system scans can be enabled with antivirus software that automatically updates signatures. To prevent phishing emails from reaching your network, implement an anti-spam solution. Add a warning banner in all emails from external sources to remind users about the dangers of opening attachments and clicking on links.
- Disable macros scripts. Instead of using full office suite software, you can use Office Viewer software to view Microsoft Office files sent via e-mail.
- Make sure all systems are up to date all hardware, including mobile devices and operating systems, must be kept patched up to date. If possible, use a central patch management system. To prevent programs from being executed in ransomware locations such as temporary folders, implement application whitelisting or software restriction policies (SRP).
- Restriction of Internet access. Consider a proxy server to allow Internet access. Restrict access to ransomware entry points such as personal email accounts or social networking sites.
- Use the principle of least privilege and network segmentation. Separate data according to organizational value. Wherever possible, create virtual environments that allow for the physical and logical separation between data and networks. Use the principle of least privilege.
- Monitor and vet third parties remote access to the network of an organization and/or connections to third parties to ensure that they adhere to cybersecurity best practices.
- Participate in cybersecurity information sharing programs and organizations such as MSISAC and InfraGard.
Secure the End-User
- Employees can be trained in phishing and social engineering. They should not open any suspicious email attachments or click on links in them. Also, be careful before they visit unknown websites.
- Remind users not to open their browsers. When not in use.
- A reporting plan is essential this ensures that staff knows where and how they can report suspicious activity.
Response to a Compromise/Attack
- now to prevent infection from spreading, disconnect infected systems from the network.
- CallCyberSecOp.comRansomware Response TeamThey offer bitcoin payment and remediation services.
- Find the data affected some sensitive data such as electronic protected medical information (ePHI), may need additional reporting or mitigation.
- Find out if there is a decryptor available. Online resources like there are no more ransom! can help.
- RestoreFiles from regularly restored backups
- report the infection. It is strongly recommended that the SLTT government agency reports ransomware incidents MS-ISAC. Home users and other sectors may also report infections to their local Federal Bureau of Investigation field offices, or the Internet Crime Complaint Center – IC3.