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New Ransomware Variant Wreaks Havoc Across the Globe

Petya Ransomware variant claims a long list of victims.

Ransomware has reared its ugly head once more. A new Petya ransomware strain dubbed GoldenEye has amassed over 2000 separate attacks within six hours of initial infection.

Besides the speed of this ransomware is its destructive capacity. GoldenEye not only encrypts files but hard drives too, so it basically takes out your whole computer.

The month before the above Petya ransomware was let loose, WannaCry ransomware made global headlines and claimed some 300 000 windows based computers.

Is Ransomware the Biggest Cybersecurity Threat?

At this point, new ransomware variants may or may not be the biggest or at least the most common cybersecurity threat. As cybersecurity firms and anti-virus software companies scramble to deal with ransomware in the coming months a new picture may emerge.

While phishing, whaling and a host of other common attacks are all too common, ransomware attacks from the likes of GoldenEye and WannaCry are still relatively new.

However, ransomware is certainly one of the most destructive forms of attack and with a recent record ransom payout of $ 1 million it is sure to increase in popularity as a hacking tool.

Why is Ransomware becoming so popular?

Cybercriminals and Cybersecurity experts seem locked in a never-ending game of chess. A constant game of finding the loophole and close the loophole plays out daily.

Today’s cyber attack strategies can be amazingly complex and coordinated. Many attacks take months to carry out with many smaller companies, who become victims, becoming simple pawns in a game targeted at a larger organisation.

Ransomware is becoming a swifter way for criminals to get a payday. In the last couple of years, smaller companies have been targeted due to their perceived lack of security when compared to large companies.

Ransom demands were smaller and relied on volume to generate ill-gotten gains. As mentioned above, a recent record ransom paid out and made public, is quickly making ransomware a much more attractive cyberattack option.

Additionally, larger companies are seen as targets as the potential ransom becomes larger and new attack points are located.

What does this mean for your business?

The fact is, no matter the size of your business, you are going to be a potential target.

This means you will need to become more aware of the threat and take as many preventative and recovery actions as you can.

To repeat once more… if you become the victim of a ransomware attack you have two options.

  1. You can pay the ransom and hopefully, your files and hard drive will get unencrypted, unless your attacker is particularly mean-spirited.
  2. Or you can say goodbye to your data as the chances of recovery are slim.

 

There is, however, another lifeline so to speak. While not preventative, regular data backups can at least help you recover should you be attacked.

 

For more information on data backups read: Ransomware Attacks Highlight the Importance of Regular Data Backups

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