RANSOMWARE – NOW A SECOND ATTACK TOOL!

DailyPost 1725
RANSOMWARE – NOW A SECOND ATTACK TOOL!

Though the analogy might not be correct, the same company being attacked again by a ransomware attack and that too most likely by the same set hackers would sound like the second wave of the pandemic, which has just ravaged us. While you are trying to come out of the first, you realize that you have already landed into the next one. Ironically, you have not even recovered from the first one fully. This is the harsh reality of the direction which  ransomware has taken of late. The world at  large and mostly in India, we are unaware of what it is and take it as yet another breach or hack. Ransomware hackers can be termed as the most sophisticated criminals in the history of mankind.

Whatever might the scourge of terrorism in the last few decades, it has never happened the sovereign governments and  professional investigative agencies are not able to pinpoint any crime to the perpetrators. Connecting the crime to the criminal is the most important task of the police and taking them to task in another part of the story. They may or may not be successful because of a large number of factors. In case of ransomware even the first does not happen. COVID-19 has seen a marked increase in the number of cyber crimes and of it  80% are ransomware attacks, of late. Colonial Pipelines of the US and JBS of Brazil have ended up paying up huge ransoms in the recent past and in the process have brought the limelight, where it actually belongs.

Governments don’t have the wherewithal to handle this crime and have surreptitiously allowed blatantly for ransom payments to happen. When governments are not able to take crime investigation to its logical conclusion, what is the choice left with a private company or any other organisation  for that matter. *The complexity of the attack is put forth as an alibi. It is a fact that ransomware attacks would never be simple but does that mean abject surrender to the perpetrators of crime over and over again. The malaise is getting worse. Now we have a second attack scenario in most firms. ”Some 80% of businesses that chose to pay* to regain access to their encrypted systems experience a subsequent ransomware attack, amongst which 46% believe it was caused by the same attackers.”

The tragedy is further confounded by the fact that almost half of the those who pay experience that *some or the complete data is corrupted. The survey was conducted by Census wide  polling 1,263 security professionals from seven markets worldwide, including 100 from Singapore and also from Germany, France, US and UK. Globally, 51% retrieved without any data loss and 3% could not get the encrypted data. In one specific case after paying millions of dollars, the company was targeted a second time,  by the same attackers within a fortnight. In Singapore, 90% faced a second attack. The loss of revenue and brand reputation has been phenomenal. Some 37% of Singapore organizations paid ransomware between $140,000 to $1.4 million. Ransomware attacks would cost the world $265 billion by 2031. There has been a 57 fold increase in ransomware attacks since 2015.

RANSOMWARE NEEDS INTERNATIONAL ATTENTION & COLLABORATION OR ELSE IT WILL ENGULFS US.

Sanjay Sahay

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