Ransomware viruses have been on the rise since 2005, with the most recent virus called WannaCry – which hit 150 countries in a matter of hours on May 12th (Friday). Over 10,000 businesses and 200,000 individuals were affected by the virus and had their files held ransom for $300 in Bitcoin*.
So what happened?
There are two kinds of ransomware: crypto and locker based. Both forms of ransomware are released through emails, either in the form of contagious attachments or hyperlinks to fraudulent websites. Crypto-ransomware will encrypt files on the computer and will only be decrypted once the ransom is paid out; whereas locker-based ransomware will block access to the files until the ransom is paid.
Canada was fortunate enough to not be infected by this specific malware; however, that doesn’t mean that Canadians are out of the woods. According to Bennett Jones, out of 125 anonymous Canadian organizations, 72% had reported being the victim of a cyberattack within the previous year – where 35% were identified as ransomware attacks.
While some of the ransomware attacks in Europe were able to be circumvented, several other forms of WannaCry have since been coded and released that supersede the flaws of the previous version. We strongly recommend that companies and individuals take a proactive approach to protecting their information. It’s critical to continuously run software updates (even if the software gets updates as often as Java sends updates), the newer versions of software have patches to existing vulnerabilities – making it more secure for you to use. On top of that, it’s important to routinely scan your systems to see what vulnerabilities might be exposing you to these types of malware and to fix them.
Check out our blog post on “Why Vulnerability Assessments Are Insufficient” for more information on securing your servers.
If you have any questions or are looking for cybersecurity solutions, contact Uzado and we will be happy to assist you in protecting your information.
*Bitcoin is an electronic currency, as of March 15th, 2017, 1 Bitcoin was valued around CDN$2,380.00.