Unlike physical attacks that begin and escalate over a period of time, cyberattacks take mere seconds. Recent global cyberattacks came as both a shock and a wake-up call when up to 99 countries, including South Africa, were held ransom to these computer-generated assaults. The world of technology and computers is changing and expanding every day which leads to a lot of misinformation to those who don’t fully understand. With the effortlessness at which information is shared these days, it’s easy to appreciate how our focus sticks to topics that scare and intimidate. Today’s blog post centres on informing and educating our readers about cyberattacks and how to deal with them.
What you should know about the fast-moving cyberattacks
Malware (malicious software) is essentially any software that acts against the wishes and best interests of the user and covers a variety of forms of hostile software, the latest of which is ransomware. Ransomware is especially malicious as it blocks its victims from accessing their files. With other types of malware, the user can often hack their way through, but ransomware doesn’t allow that; you are simply required to pay the ransom.
Despite the flaw in the Windows operating system, the WannaCry ransomware was far more dangerous because its attack didn’t stop at the operating system, but spread to all components of the computer, rendering the entire machine completely useless unless decrypted. Like all viruses and malware out there, ransomware can spread via spam emails, drive-by downloads and malvertising campaigns. These attacks can potentially harm more than your business, spreading to your clients, suppliers and business partners. WannaCry worked a little differently and was far sneakier by spreading the malware through self-propagation (malware multiplies and spreads through the network). WannaCry sought out vulnerabilities in computers and, where a weakness existed, attacked.
Unfortunately, despite all the advances in cyber protection, neither triple digit anti-virus or internet security can detect the ransomware. The sneaky ransomware developers included domain shadowing where all its exploits and communication between the downloader and the server is incognito.
Why you need to be aware of cyberattacks
The consequences of cyberattacks are vast, but there is much more that happens:
- Every business of every size and involved in every industry is vulnerable to cyberattacks. This is due to the many variants of each type of ransomware. For example, CryptoLocker has the following variants: CryptoLocker.AB, CryptoLocker 2.0 and CryptoLocker V3 (and this excluding the copycat versions).
- No one can map all the existing versions in the cyber world as most attacks are unreported. In cases where private residences are attacked, it normally goes completely unnoticed.
- As technology advances, malware does too. With the inception of features such as storage clouds, malware is evolving to make these systems vulnerable and attackable too.
Moral of the story: ransomware is a threat that should be researched, protected against and absolutely taken seriously.
We offer a variety of protection solutions including real-time monitoring. Contact us today to get protected.