Ransomware has been around for decades, but ransomware attacks have surged in recent years after the WannaCry ransomware attack demonstrated that these attacks are both effective and profitable. In the last few years, many ransomware groups have emerged and are pushing sophisticated malware.
These groups took advantage of the COVID-19 pandemic to spread their attacks via RDP and vulnerable VPN endpoints. However, while the end may be in sight for the COVID-19 pandemic, the ransomware pandemic only seems to be picking up speed.
Originally, ransomware was malware pushed by a single threat group that encrypted files on a system and demanded a ransom for the decryption key. However, in the last few years, the face of the ransomware threat has changed dramatically.
One major change is the increasing escalation of these attacks. First, “double extortion” attacks stole sensitive data before encrypting it and threatened to leak the data if the ransom was not paid. Then, “triple extortion” groups began threatening and demanding ransoms from the customers of their victims as well. Now, some ransomware groups are either threatening or performing Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks to put additional leverage on victims to pay the ransom.
Another major evolution is the emergence of the Ransomware as a Service (RaaS) model, where one ransomware group develops malware and then distributes it to “affiliates” to use in their attacks. With RaaS, more groups have access to sophisticated malware, which means more ransomware attacks.
If you’ve been infected, take these steps to manage the impact of the incident and prepare for ransomware recovery:
A successful ransomware attack encrypts data in a way that makes it impossible to decrypt without the proper decryption key. However, there are a few options for ransomware recovery:
In addition to restoring files, it is essential to ensure that attackers cannot immediately reencrypt files on infected computers. Engaging an incident response team (IRT) to identify and close the vulnerabilities used to gain access to the corporate environment and to detect and remove any backdoors and persistence mechanisms installed on infected systems is a vital step before restoring these systems.
When it comes to ransomware, prevention is always the best option. Having an anti-ransomware solution in place before an attack occurs can save an organization a lot of time, money, and trouble. To learn more about anti-ransomware solutions, check out this Buyer’s Guide and request a free demo of Harmony Endpoint.
However, if you are the victim of a successful ransomware attack, it is a good idea to call in the experts. Check Point’s Managed Detection and Response (MDR) and Incident Response (IR) teams have extensive experience in detecting, investigating, and managing ransomware infections.
If you’re experiencing a cybersecurity incident, call our Emergency Response Hotline. For less urgent matters and to learn more about protecting yourself against future ransomware attacks, contact us.