Bitcoin Ransomware Payments May Feed ‘Largest Crimewave in Modern History’

A private security company has released a new cybersecurity warning that ransomware attacks are expected to increase.

At the same time, officials report that factors like exploitable digital data, cryptocurrency ransoms and vulnerable employees, might fuel “the largest crimewave” in modern history. The warning came out on the day when the United States and Canadian governments released an alert of their own, warning people of the recent increase of ransomware attacks.

Originally, ransomware used to attack users through infamous malware such as CryptoWall, however, currently cyber criminals are turning their attention to more lucrative targets. The latest ransomware attacks include the infamous $17,000 extortion in the Hollywood Presbyterian Hospital and the ransomware crossing over from Windows machines to target Apple OS X systems. Both instances were asked to pay their ransoms in the well-known bitcoin cryptocurrency.

According to Rohyt Belani, CEO and co-founder of a private security company, 2016 is the year which is shaping up to be the “year of the ransomware attack.”

In addition Belani said: “The combination of cryptocurrency, an increase in world-wide data connectivity, poor backup procedures, and employees who are ill-equipped to defend against phishing attacks has led to the perfect storm for ransomware to succeed.”

The security warning asserts that there is a common misconception among companies that by adding additional layers of security will reduce the potential intrusion of ransomware malware. Though, a bogus email, a spear-phishing attack or a social engineering foray, will always find its way through filters. Apart from this fact, company employees have always been the weakest defense against cyber threats.

Considering the above-mentioned, all the employees should be well-trained in order to educate them of the ways for being wary of malicious emails and attachments. Also, it is very important to provide employees with the means to report suspicious emails which could help prevent the spread of new strains of ransomware.

Nevertheless, what is the most important thing here, is that it is vital for companies, hospitals, law enforcement agencies and even individuals to frequently back up their data. It is preferable to be offline, on a different computer or storage solution. As frequent data backups are the perfect way to sidestep a ransom demand and restore the data to the computer.

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