Ransomware, The Emerging Economic Transformation for Cyber Criminals

Ransomware is a type of malware that severely restricts access to a computer, device, or file with the shocking goal for ransom from the user. Since 2005, during the first wave of modern ransomware attacks, the Trojan.Gpcoder.E was a Trojan horse that encrypted files and then prompted the user to purchase a password to decrypt them.

Since that time, ransomware has morphed into being the number one risk, designed for direct revenue generation for cyber criminals. The four most prevalent direct revenue generating risks include misleading apps, fake antivirus scams, locker ransomware, and crypto ransomware.

The most recent global ransomware attack, “WannaCry” has been labeled the most severe malware attack so far in 2017.  The unequaled malware attack began sweeping the globe late last week, and security researchers estimated that nearly 57,000 computers in more than 150 countries were infected by the end of that day on Friday, May 12th. While the spread of this terrifying ransomware had diminished by Saturday, it is not entirely interrupted. As of Monday morning, estimations are that more than 200,000 systems around the world were infected.

Never in the history of humankind have people across the world stood subjected to the level of extortion on a massive scale as they are today. With the increased use of computers for personal use, and a dependency on the internet for daily transactions such as banking, shopping, and communications, this massive growth has attracted cyber criminals and has become the new economics of cybercrime.

For more information about WannaCry, click here.

For the latest guidelines to stay safe from the WannaCry Ransomware, visit the WannaCry Ransomware - Microsoft Community here.

Michael L. Woodson is Taino Consulting Group’s expert on cybersecurity and security risk management.  He can be reached at mlwoodson@tainocg.com.  

Photo: https://blog.kaspersky.com/expert-ransomware-tips/11974/