A while ago, the FBI issued a new ransomware alert, warning internet users that the number of infections is going to rise again this year.
Last year, the Agency advised organizations to pay the ransom if infected with ransomware, in order to get their files back, while the latest official update was focused on the education, prevention and having a solid business continuity plan in case of malware attack.
The assistant director of Cyber Division – James Trainor, warned that paying the ransom doesn’t guarantee that an organization will get its data back.
“We’ve seen cases where organizations never got a decryption key after having paid the ransom,” he said.
“Paying a ransom not only emboldens current cyber-criminals to target more organizations, it also offers an incentive for other criminals to get involved in this type of illegal activity. And finally, by paying a ransom, an organization might inadvertently be funding other illicit activity associated with criminals.”
In addition, the FBI warned the companies that ransomware isn’t just an email-based problem, but it is already turning up in drive-by attacks where legitimate websites are seeded with the malicious code.
This news came when the Michigan-based public utility Lansing Board of Water and Light reported that its computer systems got infected with ransomware via a phishing email.
Despite the fact that no personal data was compromised and the delivery of water and electricity was not affected, the administrative functions were crippled by the recent attack.
An initial statement had the following:
“We immediately instated a self-imposed lockdown to all of our corporate networks to protect the system while developing a solution. We are working with local, state and federal law enforcement authorities.”
Later, the utility provider claimed to have hired “licensed incident response experts” to get systems back up and running, and that it wouldn’t release any more details while law enforcers were looking into the case.
Nevertheless, Ransomware is not just a US problem. According to Foursys, it accounted for 42% of security ‘breaches’ over the past year.
Besides, Trend Micro reported that there were more than twice as many UK enterprise infections this February than in the first three months of 2015.