Ransomware is a type of malicious software (malware) that infects a computer, blocks and encrypts your files. You don’t have the documents and information you need for your work and life. Do you want to go back? The criminal demands a ransom.
Attacks can refer to specific data (documents, images), entire programs or the main access of the system. Victims can be individuals, small businesses, large corporations and government units.
In general, the payment must be made in cryptocurrencies (one of the most common is bitcoin), but there are stories of victims who were forced to send money to recover their belongings.
One of the most famous cyberattacks of this type is Wannacry, ransomware that was released in May 2017. Criminals hijacked systems in several countries, affecting more than 700,000 people, including customers, companies , hospitals and government offices. The amount required to release each machine was about $300, but in the end, everything added up to an estimated loss of $4 billion.
Activities related to ransomware are still ongoing. Costa Rica declared a state of emergency after some government services were hacked, with losses estimated at more than US$ 30 million. Brazil’s government systems are also referenced.
Dress or ease?
Why has ransomware become so common in recent years? One of the reasons is that it is easy to do and leave the victim as a given.
“Also, the ease of paying the ransom in bitcoins brings a faster return than other types of crime”, explains Franzvitor Fiorim, an expert in the industry digital security Trend Micro.
Therefore, the main targets are business enterprises (26.2%, according to the report of the cyber-security consultancy. Kaspersky). However, small frauds have become common among traders and service providers such as restaurants.
In 2021, more than 50% of ransomware attacks in Latin America will take place in Brazil, according to a study released by Apura. Globally, the cost of cybercrime is expected to grow by an average of 15% per year in the next five years, according to data from Cybersecurity Ventures.
According to security experts, in more than half of this type of attack, companies lose all or almost all files. Worse, one in six businesses that pay ransom do not have access to their data.
“The first ransomware allowed the use of tools to restore the path. Lab.
To pay or not to pay?
Computer “contamination” is not the user’s fault. There are cases in “normal” ways, such as pressing links bad But there are some conditions in the ransomware is simply spread over the internet and takes advantage of computer vulnerabilities. O Wannacry suitable for the latter case.
Another advantage for the criminal is that it is very difficult to find out the reason for the attack. “In general, they ask for the payment to be paid using cryptocurrencies, which reduces the risk of identity”, explains Marques, who says not to pay.
Therefore, the solution depends on luck: if the ransomware is not developed, the solution is to delete the data and lose it forever.
Therefore, two important lessons: always use an antivirus that monitors Internet browsing; and always back up offline to protect your data and business (if applicable).
And cell phones?
There are three popular ransomware families for smartphones. Each one works differently, whether it’s attaching files, locking the device’s screen or blocking images, especially contact, and threatening to send things to all the relatives of the victim.
The virus is usually acquired by clicking on malicious links. But there is a better bait. “Fraud and free, paid methods are often created. DNFDR labfactory of Safe specialist in cybercrime.
The result of the attack is the same: connect the phone (the data will be lost if there is no backup) or find a tool to remove the ransomware.
To reduce problems, the best way is to avoid clicking on suspicious links, download apps from official app stores and use an antivirus.
It should be mentioned that this issue affects more recent Android devices.
In the case of iPhones, however, there are other types of scams that pay a ransom. One of them, which is tied to a recent iOS update, crashes the Safari app. Some iCloud accounts are hacked and send messages that appear on the lock screen, leading the victim to believe that the phone has been infected – when, in fact, he clicks on the link in that message to causing disease.
What is the damage after the attack?
Opice Blum, Bruno and Vainzof Advogados Associados, who specialize in cybersecurity, say that the consequences of ransomware attacks can be both short-term and long-term.
In the short term, there is a disruption in the important activities of the company or the one affected, including the costs related to the response and the efforts to fix it, loss of productivity and , of course, the expense of saving.
In the long run, a company’s losses are reduced, damage to the brand’s reputation, layoffs of employees, loss of customers and strategic partners and, in some cases, changes in the ability of the entire industry.