This time of year is full of thrills and chills, but no online threat is quite as scary as ransomware. While it comes in many forms, the overall gist is that ransomware locks files on a computer and holds them ransom unless a fine is paid.
In the first half of 2016 alone, there has been a 172 percent rise in the number of new ransomware families. Here at Trend Micro, we have blocked an overwhelming amount of these ransomware attacks – more than 100 million. Below are some of the scariest ransomware threats to be on the lookout for this Halloween.
Inspired by Saw, Billy greets infected users with a warning – pay or else. The criminals behind the attack incrementally delete files until the ransom is paid.
ATTENTION ATTENTION: YOUR DOCUMENTS, PHOTOS AND OTHER FILES HAVE BEEN ENCRYPTED. While there are several variations of Cerber, the original version is the scariest – speaking to its victims to alert them of the infection.
This taunting ransomware places the blame on the victims and assumes they will know how to pay. Plus, the masked image is enough to cause a fright – as is the payment amount of nearly $29,000!
This family is able to encrypt 185 file types and erase back-ups, leaving victims stuck with no way to retrieve files except paying the fee. It uses remote desktop protocols to peruse systems, escalate privileges and encrypt the most valuable files to further ensure companies pay up.
Aptly named, CryLocker plays on victims’ emotions, changing encrypted file extensions to .CRY and encouraging people to buy their happiness instead of crying over their fate.
This pop-up looks pretty tame until you read the note. Every six hours a random file is permanently deleted, and after 96 hours the decryption key is gone forever. These bad guys want to make victims pay up fast.
Solutions and Mitigation
Backing up files is still the most viable all-around solution for protection against ransomware. Remember the 3-2-1 rule: 3 copies are stored in two different devices, and another one to a safe location.
Trend Micro also offers solutions that protect users and organizations in all aspects –at the gateway, endpoints, networks, and even servers.